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This second worksheet in the Doodles Do Algebra (TM) curriculum is part of a set of lessons which start a child out with a series of mental math exercises. Before kids learns about unknowns and how to simplify polynomials, it is really helpful to give them familiarity and confidence “mentally” solving problems that usually are taught as algebra problems with written steps.
I discovered, after fielding years and years of repeated forms of the “why do I have to know how to do this?” questions, that children just take to algebra straight away when I took them through a number of mental math problems first. It was also quite surprising how easily they (and I) could do the problems without pencil and paper.
The Doodles Do Algebra(TM) series of lessons is designed for minimal teacher involvement. Most everything the child needs to learn comes from the Doodle cartoon that explains the lesson of the day. I used this entire series to teach my own children Algebra I and Algebra II, but individual worksheets are wonderful for reinforcing concepts you are teaching with an alternate curricula. As a side note, my kids like to color in the Doodle Cartoon character each day and give them hats and crazy facial expressions. It is a fantastic way to etch the algebra concept of the day into their memory.