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Topic: Algebra Balance Scales
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Subject:   case studies
Author: George Reese
Date: Feb 15 2004

I would really like to see the case study you wrote
up about this. I've been trying to get some discussions
going on various balance applets and how teachers are or can use them.

Be nice to have your reflections.

On Feb 14, 2004, Julee wrote:

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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