5-D-2: Applets

http://matti.usu.edu/nlvm/nav/

At this website you can find a game called “Algebra Balancing Scales”.  This game is a great interactive equation solver.  In this game you are given a one step or two step equation that you must first represent by dragging icons to the appropriate side of the balancing beam.  The nice thing about this game is that you are not allowed to move on to solve the problem until the scale is balanced.  If you do make a mistake, the computer will tell you what is wrong and allow you to tinker around until you get it correct.  The visuals are excellent and very easy to understand.  Once you set the scale up correctly, you are then able to solve the problem using inverse operations by dragging typing in commands.  As you type in commands the computer guides you along by showing how things cancel out from each side of the equation by keeping the scale balanced.

This activity is definitely one that I will use in my guided practice when discussing two step equations next week.  On my smartboard, the students will be able to help solve the equations and see it as a visual to help them understand the practice of solving equations. Great website!

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