I wish Oliver Steele had been my algebra teacher. He has wonderful illustrations that he calls grounded proofs . For example, multiplication is commutative:
Oliver’s lovely illustrations make these abstract mathematical concepts concrete and simple.
I didn’t really get math until geometry. Word problems were the worst. They never seemed to make pictures for me. They didn’t seem to have anything to do with reality, although in retrospect I imagine that they were trying to accomplish exactly that.