This activity promotes algebraic thinking of equivalency as well as giving children practice in addition and subtraction. Students see weights on each side of a balance, and are asked to find ways they can hang a weight or two weights to balance the bar. An interactive balance allows student to explore the different ways weights can be added to balance or equalize the bars. A more challenging problem,"Getting the Balance" is cataloged separately. The Teachers' Notes page offers rationale, suggestions for implementation, discussion questions, ideas for extension and support.


  • Mathematics > General
  • Education > General

Education Levels:

  • Grade 1
  • Grade 2
  • Grade 3
  • Grade 4
  • Grade 5
  • Grade 6
  • Grade 7
  • Grade 8
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  • Grade 12


Grade 2,Grade 1,NSDL,Addition,Early Elementary,Express regularity,Strategies,Number concepts,Social Sciences,Arithmetic,Analyze and persevere,Concept formation,Process skills,Number and operations,Inductive reasoning,Algebra,Critical thinking,Subtraction,Life Science,Composition and decomposition of numbers,Visual representation,Equations,Informal Education,Whole numbers,NSDL_SetSpec_ncs-NSDL-COLLECTION-000-003-112-027,Comparison of numbers,Practice Standards,Elementary School,Reason quantitatively,Algebraic thinking,Chemistry,Operations,Mental calculation,Communication,Mathematical language,Reasoning,Mathematics,Problem solving,Education,Construct arguments,oai:nsdl.org:2200/20140728161306870T,Representation



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