Saturday, April 5, 2014

Balance Day

I like to start out the unit on solving equations by showing this clip from a Japanese game show.


After we watch the clip, we discuss what the teams had to do to win the game and how this connects with math. This usually leads to a very interesting discussion and the students make the connection between balance and equations and doing the same thing on both sides of an equation to maintain balance.
Then to reinforce this critical idea, which is the foundation of solving equations in algebra, we spend a day doing Balance Activities. In the past I have created Balance Stations and the students would spend about 5 minutes at each station and record their results.

This year I decided to ask the students to create balance activities for their peers to try. The results were amazing and I think the students got more out of designing and creating their own balance activities.

Several groups created their own balance scale to use in their activity.