# Algebra Boxes: TES Maths Resource of the Week 66

What is it?

If you have never played the classic pencil and paper game of Boxes (or Dots and Boxes), then some would say you have never lived. And if you played it, would you have ever imagined it would get a beautiful algebraic make-over and become an essential ingredient in the teaching or collecting like terms and algebraic substitution? Neither would I! So, this is just like normal Boxes, but in order to work out the value of the squares you capture, you are going to need to do a bit of simplifying and substation. Another TES Maths twists on a classic!

How can it be used?

This is ideal as a way of consolidating understanding of simplifying algebraic expression or substituting into formula. In its current state, the game focuses on four variables, each with positive values. But there is absolutely nothing stopping you increasing the challenge somewhat. Adding a few w-squared, or x – 3y in there, and then changing the values of some of the variables to negative allows for a far more challenging game. Indeed, having several versions of the playing board to hand allows for a nicely differentiated lesson.

Thank you for sharing!

Craig Barton