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Balance Beams are often used as a physical representation of Algebra Equations.

Balancing Equations Video

The following video does a great job of showing how to balance equations:

The following BBC Maths Animation gives a good introduction to this concept. The mini movie is followed by questions that you can do

This interactive activity from BBC shows how simple equations can be solved using a balance beam scale.

It has a short introductory video, followed by some equations questions that we can try doing ourselves.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/ks3bitesize/maths/algebra/equations1/activity.shtml

Balancing Equations Videos

Here is a short video about solving a One Step Equation using a Balance Beam.

Here is a video about using the Balance Beam concept to solve a basic Two Step Equation.

Here is a similar video that involves negative numbers in equations.

Here is a slightly different kind of balancing problem, called a “Pan Balance” problem.

Balance Beam Worksheet

There is a good worksheet at the link below. It starts off with simple questions, and then becomes progressively more challenging.

Click Here for Balance Beam Questions Worksheet

Here are the ANSWERS to the first three questions on the worksheet.

Q1) 7, 6, 6, 2, 7, 5.5, 2, 7

Q2) 11, 8, 13, 5

Q3a) Circle = 6, Rectangle = 8

Q3b) Circle = 5, Diamond = 2

Online Activities and Games

Interactive Equation Balancing

This activity is really cool. We can click on the purple buttons to add or remove x’s or ones. As we do this, the items are added or removed from both sides of the balance.

The idea is to reduce the items on the balance down until we just have one “x” on the balance. The remaining numbers on the other side of the balance tell us what the answer for the value of “x” is.

This activity can be found at the following link.

http://www.mathsisfun.com/algebra/add-subtract-balance.html

Poodle Weigh In

This game involves putting number weights on the balance to match the weight of the strange looking Poodle.

Hover the mouse over the bottom right hand corner “Help” button, to get instructions on how to play the game.

Hover the mouse over the bottom left hand corner “Hint” button, to reveal the number equation which needs solving.

Then click on the number weights to make them go onto the balance and add up to the required answer.

To remove a number off the balance, simply click the number on the right hand side of the balance that we want to remove.

The game can be played at the following link.

http://pbskids.org/cyberchase/math-games/poddle-weigh-in/

Algebraic Reasoning

Here is an online puzzle Game that involves working out how much one item is, and then using this information to work out a second item.

The game can be played at the following link.

http://www.mathplayground.com/algebraic_reasoning.html

That’s it for Balance Beams and Equations.

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Equivalent Equations

Fractions Equations

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Equations Games

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