This Sketchpad activity, which opens on Geometer's Sketchpad as well as on iOS with Sketchbook Explorer (cataloged separately), is the first of three balance activities in which students develop intuitive strategies for writing and solving simple algebraic equations. Students drag a shape whose numerical value is known onto one side of a scale and then drag copies of a shape with an unknown numerical value to the other side of the scale until both sides are level. Students then solve the equation to determine the value of the unknown shape. A five-minute movie provides detailed instructions and downloadable PDF of teacher notes and student worksheets are also included.


  • Mathematics > General
  • Education > General

Education Levels:

  • Grade 1
  • Grade 2
  • Grade 3
  • Grade 4
  • Grade 5
  • Grade 6
  • Grade 7
  • Grade 8
  • Grade 9
  • Grade 10
  • Grade 11
  • Grade 12


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