This is a problem solving activity that can help to introduce pupils to algebra.
Resource Support Notes:
This activity incorporates 'real-life' problem solving activities as an introduction to algebra. The pupil is presented with a set of balance scales and a variety of objects that have different values. By adding combinations of objects to the scales and clicking the 'check button' the pupil is able to see whether the scales are too heavy, too light or evenly balanced.
The problem solving process encourages the pupil to explore the 'hidden' values of the objects, eventually arriving at a solution which can then be tested as verification. The notion of a combination of abstract objects with varying values acts as a bridge to the introduction of algebra and formulae.
The 'practice area' of the activity is a pupil-driven environment where they can explore the values of different combinations of objects and visualise the effects of their choices. Moving to the 'question area' presents a series of pre-set questions which consolidate and extend the previous learning.
This is a problem solving activity which uses a set of scales and a variety of shapes. All the shapes have different values and your task is to work out how much each shape is worth in order to balance the scales.
There is a 'practice area' where you can make up your own problems, add and remove objects, and work out the values. In the 'question area' you are presented with a series of questions. From the sets of balanced scales you have to work out how many additional objects need to be added to the scales to make them balance.