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Surf for More Math

Lesson 8 - Variables in Equations

To encourage students to have fun on the Web while learning to Variables in Equations, here are some games and interactive activities they can do on their own or in pairs.



Solve equations including symbols representing variables.


Builds Upon

Student Book pages 26-27

Instructions for Use

Algebra Balance Scales allows students to solve simple equations through the use of a balance beam.

To use Algebra Balance Scales, click and drag unit blocks and X-boxes from bins to the balance beam pans to represent the equation. When the beam balances from the given linear equation, students can perform any arithmetic operation. To keep the beam balanced, the same operation must be done on both sides of the equation. The goal, is to get a single X-box on one side, with however many unit blocks needed for balance on the other side to find the value of X.

Once the equation is represented, click the 'Continue' button. Click on any of the other buttons, to add, subtract, divide, or multiply. Do the same operation to both sides of the equation. In the text box, have students input what they want to add to or subtract from both sides, and click the Go! button. Students can, for example, subtract 2X from both sides, if there are two X-boxes on both sides. Multiply or divide only by numbers, and only if the operation can be done in whole numbers. The equation is updated with each operation. When students have a single X-box on one pan and blocks on the other pan, the equation displays the solution.