Updated May 2014

Khan Academy: Algebra 1

Algebra lessons get to the point, though sometimes slowly

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Not yet reviewed Editorial review by Common Sense Education
Community rating
Based on 3 reviews
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88%| Pass Expert evaluation by Common Sense
Subjects & Skills
Math, Character & SEL, Critical Thinking, College & Career Prep

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Khan Academy's Algebra 1 content might best be used to help kids check their understanding once you've already covered a topic in class. The quizzes at the end of each tutorial can be used for homework or as an in-class formative assessment. Kids can use the Missions to reinforce foundational skills or work ahead. However, take note: Some of the instructional videos here are a bit slow-paced. Kids could get bored or distracted as Sal backtracks, reorganizing the way he writes FOIL, or during his discussion of why he doesn't like this method. As a comparison, Virtual Nerd's tutorial on FOIL covers the same topic much more succinctly. That said, Khan teaches the concept correctly, presenting the distributive property as an alternative to this method. It would just be better if it were clearer and more precise.

On the flip side, the fact that Sal takes time to emphasize the nature of mathematics is a great benefit. For example, the video "Descartes and Cartesian coordinates" highlights the importance of persevering through math problems; this would be an excellent video to watch and discuss as a whole class. For another cool activity, in “Understanding the process for solving quadratic equations,” kids are asked to look for flaws in a sample student’s work. This kind of exercise can help students become more metacognitive about their own mathematical processes.


Full Disclosure: Khan Academy and Common Sense Education share funders; however, those relationships do not impact Common Sense Education's editorial independence and this learning rating.

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Featured review by
Michelle B. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Cabell County Career Technology Center
Huntington, United States
Great app for reteaching and explaining content in different ways for students who struggle with concepts.
I have not used this app as a teaching tool and incorporated it into my lessons other than permit students extra classroom time to research their topic here and build on current knowledge. In the future, I will probably implement this into my lesson plans early in the year and as part of my lesson plans so students can become familiar with its features as well as become comfortable with using it as an extra learning tool for themselves.
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