I've heard about Algebra Tiles and since I know some of the boys at our school are having trouble with Algebra, I thought I would look into what these are. I've not wrapped my head around it completely yet, but I have tiles on my desk that I'm "playing with" in order to figure some things out. There are plenty of places online to download printable tiles. I printed mine on colored paper, blue for the positive, and red for the negative.
Here are a few introductory videos that have helped me with the beginning stages of understanding the concept.
Introduction to Algebra Tiles
Solving Algebra Equations with Tiles
Algebra Tiles to Factor Equations: Introduction
MathCast_03: Area Model to Illustrate Constant times a Monomial
I really like the content of the math cast tutorials, because he moves slowly, which I need because I'm so new to these "Alge-Tiles" as he calls them, but the narrator's voice is soft and makes me sleepy. More later when I figure more of this out!