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Topic: Algebra Balance Scales
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Subject:   Re: Algebra Balance Scales
Author: Julee
Date: Feb 14 2004
Thank you for bringing my attention tothis applet.  I tried a lesson with
balances to introduce solving algebra equations to my Algebra I students last
year and actually wrote a case study for a class I was taking.  

One limitation I found with this applet is that the problems I encountered all
involved positive numbers.  Most students don't have a problem with algebra
equations where they simply take away or divide.  

For problems where division is necessary, we drew the new scales the blocks were
divided among to show where they went.  I think this is more useful than
magically making them disappear.  

Also, we used balloons tied to our scales to represent negative numbers or
anti-wieghts.  This applet would have been more useful in helping students
visualize the negative numbers.  

Did anyone find problems that involved negatives?

Julee Lee

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