Bright Ideas Blog Hop: Balancing Equations using Math Manipulatives

Welcome to the second round of Bright Ideas Blog Hop.  I am going to give you a great way to scaffold your kiddos to help them understand balancing equations.  First, I want to make sure you know all about the hop.  We are a group of teachers dedicated to bringing you quality posts about ideas that can be used for FREE in your classroom.  If you would like to read more fantastic ideas, please link back to the host site.  Just click here.

We also share a Pinterest Board with all the fabulous ideas.  Click here and you can stop by and see all the ideas in action.  

Balancing equations is very hard for our littles.  I found this out last week when I introduced the concept.  They all looked at me like I was speaking alien language.  So, as any teacher would do, I found a different way to reach each child.  Here is how I used scaffolding in this lesson.  The graphics are illustrations of what they used for their workmats.

First-tell them what a balanced equation is NOT! I know, this is not an equation, but this is where you will have to start identifying the vocabulary you have been building in class.  

Next, tell and show them what balanced means and how it looks with numbers and manipulatives.  Those cute little think clouds are their expressions and thoughts they shared during the lesson.

The next step is to help them manipulate and see the equation happen in front of them.  Count out the bears to 9, you can pick whatever number you are comfy with.

Then move them to the left side of the scale. Next separate them into 2 piles and Wa-la, balanced equation.

Notice the singular version of that word?  We are aiming for the plural!!  So as they are learning all this fun stuff, they don't even realize they have balanced an equation.  This is the next step-balance the scale by placing an equation on each side of the scale.  The key-drawing it out and using manipulatives!

And lastly, when all else fails--take them out to the teeter totter and have them balance the equation there!

Next up on the hop is my buddy Tamera from Mrs. Russell's Room.  She is going to give you some great ideas for summarizing!  Just here and whooosh- you will be swept away for a special treat with her!!  

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