Category Archives: Cummulative Algebra Materials

This category is for cumulative review ideas and strategies that summarize the algebra content discussed throughout the course. This could entail review activities, games, assessments, end of course practice, and projects.

How do you review?


With finals around the corner, how do you review the year’s curriculum with your algebra students?

I posted a while back “Algebra Alien” which is a fun way for students to represent their algebraic understanding using their notes and assignments. Another such cumulative review could be created by 4-6 teams of  students, with each team focusing on a particular content area, writing a range of potential test questions. Once the set of questions are finalized, a cumulative practice exam can be created and administered to the whole class. Each team could then instruct/explain the correct responses for their sections and field questions as necessary. This type of review reinforces student’s understanding of their assigned content area, while creating student “buy-in” to the review process. One word of caution…if students are allowed to pick their teams based on the content they like best or know better than the others, you’re hindering them from fully reviewing the content areas they in which they need the most help. Assigning students a particular content, based on their formative assessment performances throughout the year, will provide them one last opportunity to learn the material from a peer base. This can be done very inconspicuously, by pre-arranging the teams. With that said, its best not create a team of students that consists of students who have a poor or incomplete understanding of the same content. This type of review will take a great deal of planning and student mapping to the best team configuration, but when done properly it can have an amazing effect. What students may not have learned through your instruction, may finally comprehend through the instruction of their peers. 

Please share your method(s) of facilitating a cumulative review for algebra.


Algebra Alien

As I’m cleaning up the last 5 years worth of files from two computers and two thumb drives, I want to share a really fun end-of-the-year activity that was a HUGE hit! I have included the directions/rubric and student sample work.

The premise of this activity is that students research their own notebook for the BEST sample problem that meets the criteria to showcase on their alien. The alien is of their own creation and depicts the scope and depth of the algebra learned throughout the year. Students are allowed to get as creative as they wish. When all students have competed their alien, have them post them all around the room and have the class do a walking gallery. With post-it notes and pencil, have students examine the difficulty level of the problems on their peer’s alien and make comments. Students can bring these comments back to their desk to share out with the whole class or they can post them beside the alien. This provides yet another type of review of the content for the students. You’ll be amazed at your student’s creativity, as well as how on-mark they will be with showcasing the BEST problems from the year.

 Directions and Rubric  algebra-alien


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