The Great Big Book of Algebra

Sunday, November 30, 2008
Chapter One: Integer Poetry

"Adding Integers with Kitty"
One day while I was walking,
As happy as could be,
I noticed a little cat,
That happened to follow me.

I asked him what his name was,
And you know what? He could talk!
He said "My name is Kitty,
And I'll teach you how to walk!"

I told him that I knew how,
And although he looked quite sad,
He then cheered up and told me,
"Then I'll teach you how to add!"

I told him that I knew how once more,
But still,he offered to help,
He then wrote on a piece of paper,
And then I gave a little yelp!

He had added two negative integers,
Right before my eyes,
I could not believe it so I asked,
"Can I give it a try?"

He handed me the paper and pen,
And I gave it my best shot,
But sadly I could not add them,
Probably because I forgot!

Kitty was quite surprised at this,
However he showed me how,
To add integers quite easily,
And I can add them now!

"Subraction is Myth"
Subtracting is false
Adding opposites is true
Be true and go far

Partitive division,
Now what on earth is that?
Is it some form of writing,
Or a blue and purple hat?

I for one do not know,
What this could really mean,
Although I might've guessed,
That it might be for the keen.

Of course it is a long two words,
And the first is quite confusing!
This word I believe is just for those,
Who find such words amusing.

However it is not,
It is a form of math you'll see.
So now you know what "you know" means,
And I hope you'll let me be!

"A Man from a a Gown?"
There once was a man from a town,
Who did division while wearing a gown,
He was a bit crazy,
Some thought he was lazy,
Still, this did not make him frown.

"The Rules of Math"
Rules, rules, rules,
That's all I ever hear!
It's like I am surrounded,
By a herd of angry deer!

However in the math world,
The rules are really nice!
They bring me much enjoyment,
Kind of like a fuzzy dice.

The rules for multiplying,
Are really helpful too!
They make it easy to do a question,
And no more saying "Boo hoo!"

Oh yes these rules are something,
That I really like to obey,
These are in fact the only rules,
I listen to everyday!

Chapter Two: Combining Like Terms
and The Distributive Property


British Guy: Hello Governor!
Other Guy: What? Are you talking to me?
British Guy: Yes I am.
Other Guy: name's not Governor. It's Bob.
British Guy: Alright Bob... Do you know how to simplify n+3 -5n+12 by adding like terms?
Bob: Hey man I ain't in school no more! I can do that! It's -6n+15! How do you like dem apples!
British Guy: Well...personally I must say that dem apples are rotten! The answer is -4n+15! I thought you knew how to combine like terms!
Bob: Hey man! Don't be that way! I tried my best.
British Guy: Well your best isn't good enough! I must teach you how to combine like terms!
British Guy: To start you must reorder the integers and variables. To do this you must first circle the terms that you need to combine. In this expression you would circle 3n and -5n! Do you understand?
Bob: Yeah! I get it now!
British Guy: Good. The next step would be to reorder the integers and variables so that they are next to a like term. In this expression you would put n and -5n together and put 12 and 3 together. Are you with me so far?
Bob: I guess so...
British Guy: Alright...The final step in simplifying the expression is actually combining the terms. If you do this properly then you will get -4n+15. But, in your answer you probably thought that n equals negative one.
Bob: So, it doesn't equal negative one?
British Guy: No, it just equals one.
Bob: Cool...
British Guy: Alright. I have another expression for you to simplify. This time you must use the distributive property to solve it. The expression is 2 + 4 (3n+8)
Bob: I know what that is! It's that thing where you multiply the stuff in the brackets by what's kissing it right?
British Guy: Well...I don't know about kissing but...I guess so.
Bob: Yeah!!! I'm right! So...yeah... the answer is 12n+10!
British Guy: No, sorry Bob. That is incorrect. The answer is 12n+34
Bob: What!? How did you get that!?
British Guy: Well, you have to multiply what's in the brackets by what's...kissing...the brackets. In this expression you would multiply both 3n and 8 by 4 because that's what's touching the brackets.
Bob: Oh! So you have to multiply both numbers by 4! I didn't know that!
British Guy: Well now you do!
Bob: Thanks man! Hey, I never did get your name. What is it?
British Guy: My name? Well...I can't tell you that!!!
Bob: Why? Please tell me! I told you mine!
British Guy: name is...Petunia Louise... Don't laugh...
Bob: Hey man! Don't sweat it! That's an awesome name! In fact, it's also my mom's name!
Petunia Louise: ...Oh my...


Chapter Three: One Step Equation Solving

Have you ever wanted to solve algebraic equations? Do you want to be able to show off in math class? Do you even know what algebraic equations are? If you want to know the answer to these questions then you must know the acronym ICOBV! Now, you're probably thinking "What's that weird word supposed to do for me?" but I can tell you that if you know this then you can solve any one step algebraic equation that you want. By the way, ICOBV stands for:

Isolate the variable by
Cancelling using the

This equation can be used to solve any kind of one step equation that you come across. Now, allow me to show you how to use ICOBV to solve the following questions.


I'll start with addition because I'm pretty sure everyone is very comfortable with it. The question will be... (note: just click the image to make it larger).

Now that you know how to do one step algebraic addition questions you'll find that subtraction questions are very similar. The question is...


Now we're in the big league. Many people get scared when someone says multiplication but I assure you that ICOBV will still come through for us.

Now we're at division, the last question. Division is just the opposite of multiplication and as such you'll find many similarities to the two.

Congratulations! You can now solve one step algebraic equations! Or, if not, then I suggest that you read this post again.
Chapter Four: One Step Equation Solving
with Algebra Tiles


  1. peachy 8-41 said...

    AW. Nicky! Harbeck showed us this, and boy was he proud! :) Good job, I'm happy that you're still the same Nicky from Clifton days! Still loving poetry! :P The kitty one was funny, haha! Aw, good job once again. :D Keep up the great work! BTW: I will beat you in LANGUAGE ARTS! :D

    December 2, 2008 at 9:19 PM  

  2. Kevin 8-17 said...

    Wow! I like your poems! They're very creative and LONG! Almost all of them have a sense of humor in them too!

    December 3, 2008 at 5:28 PM  

  3. Karen 8-17 said...

    WOW! Di Mela!
    I like all of your poems especially the kitty one it's so good! They are very creative and LONG<--just like what Kevin said. They're all so good and WOW ( I know what your thinking Nicky your thinking that I should really learn how to come up with better adjectives, k got it(; ). AND WAIT.. did you do 5 poems? if you did WOW! EXCELLENT! keep up the good work Nicky even if I know you will;P.GREAT JOB again!

    December 3, 2008 at 5:37 PM  

  4. eulric 8-41 said...

    Wow! Nicky man you have out done yourself when i was reading this poem I was literally frozen and i was so amazed at what you have done. all your assignments were great but this is awesome and im not kidding and even though i'm about six thousand miles away let me just say that this is amazing!. well that's all that i have to say keep up the good work and I'll see you all when i get back

    December 3, 2008 at 8:58 PM  

  5. Vincent 8-17 said...


    December 4, 2008 at 5:18 PM  

  6. Jowella 8-17 said...

    Wow! Good job Nicky! I really liked the way you ryhmed mostly everyhting. I didn't know you were such a great poet, and that you like poetry. By the way I really liked that poem about a kitty. It was so funny and it's very creative.

    Keep up the good work! I know that you'll great. :)

    December 4, 2008 at 7:03 PM  

  7. linda 8-17 said...

    GOOD JOBm NICKY! The poems are so creative, and imaginative! Very funny, and Nicky-esque!

    December 7, 2008 at 1:47 AM  

  8. linda 8-17 said...

    HAHA, your video was FUNNY! I liked this line best! >>"You can't leave me! I'm british!"
    HAHA !

    December 8, 2008 at 9:57 PM  

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