**Update: This Lesson Is Part of Book 1 of Doodles Do Algebra: “Starting Out With Mental Algebra” available on Amazon.**

Teacher’s Notes:

*Day 2 of “Doodles Do Algebra” is taught by my boy (DoodleTwo).*

*The types of mental “algebra” problems your child will learn today are focused on solving the typical type of “so-and-so has twice as many apples as his friend, if together they have such-many apples, how many does each person have?” problems.*

*The key here is to mentally count up how many “units” there are in total.*

*In the example taught by DoodleTwo,*

My sister and I have 18 cents, and I have twice as many as my sister; how many cents do each of us have.

*So you need to help your kid think about it like this:*

*There are 18 cents total**You are dividing that 18 cents a total of 3 ways. DoodleTwo gets 2 of those parts (or ways) and DoodleOne (his sister) gets the last 1 part.**So if you are dividing 18 into 3 equal parts, then each part is 6 cents because 18/6 is 3.**That means that DoodleOne (sister) gets one part, or 3 cents**and DoodleTwo gets two parts, or 2×3 cents, or 6 cents.**Now if you think of dividing the 18 cents “x” ways instead of using the word “parts”, you are now doing mental algebra!*

*It is really easy unless you had a traumatic middle school algebra experience and then fear, uncertainty, and doubt creep in at odd moments.*

*Don’t worry, your kids will have a much easier time with this than you think.*

Worksheet:

*Available in the book, “Starting Out With Mental Algebra, Book 1 of Doodles Do Algebra”*

Answers:

*DoodlePoodle is 10, and DoodlePig is 5. (again there are 3 parts and 15 divided by 3 is 5. DoodlePoodle gets 2 parts, or 10 years and DoodlePig gets one part, or 5 years).**Part One is 7 and Part Two is 28 (this time there are 5 parts total and 35 divided by 5 is 7. One part is 7 and the other is 7 times 4 or 28). Note that here it is just as correct to say Part One is 28 and Part Two is 7, since the question was worded ambiguously.**First number is 4 and Second number is 36 (now there are 10 parts and 40 divided by 10 is 4 so the smaller number, which is just one part is 4 and the larger number, which is 9 parts, is 4 times 9 or 36.) Also here the first number could by 36 and the second number could by 4, it doesn’t matter which way you write it.**3x (here we are reviewing the ‘one x and two x’s make a total of 3 x’s’ concept. If your kid has trouble abstracting you can sit down with a pile of pennies, or apples, or teaspoons, or raisins and show them how you add with a tangible thing and then tell them that the penny or raisin or apple can be an ‘x’ just as easily as a ‘real thing’)**4x**5x*

Once again, please give me any feedback you have (good or bad) in the comments below!