To Balance or Not to Balance

This feature for Primary teachers focuses on the concept of equivalence and showcases our balance interactivity in several guises. The tasks included aim to build on children's practical experiences of balances, using this as a context in which to discuss equality, and leading into considering ways we represent equivalence mathematically.

 

In this article for primary teachers, Ems shares some common misconceptions surrounding the equals sign, and suggests ways to help learners develop their understanding.

Seesaw Shenanigans 

Age 3 to 7
Challenge Level
A group of animals has made a seesaw in the woods. How can you make the seesaw balance?

Equivalent Pairs 

Age 5 to 7
Challenge Level
Can you match pairs of cards which show the same amount?

Number Balance 

Age 5 to 7
Challenge Level
Can you hang weights in the right place to make the the number balance balanced?

Are You Well Balanced? 

Age 5 to 7
Challenge Level
Can you work out how to make each side of this balance equally balanced? You can put more than one weight on a hook.

Interactive Balance 

Age 5 to 11
Challenge Level
In this simulation of a balance, you can drag numbers and parts of number sentences on to the trays. Have a play!

Sweetie Box 

Age 5 to 11
Challenge Level
Max and Bryony both have a box of sweets. What do you know about the number of sweets they each have?

True or False? 

Age 7 to 11
Challenge Level
Without doing lots of calculations, can you decide which of these number sentences are true? How do you know?