## BALANCE—INTRODUCING SYMBOLS AND EQUALITY

Students use a scale to develop early algebraic concepts. They determine different ways to place shapes with assigned numerical values on one side of a scale to balance with given shapes on the other side. Students develop the understanding that a symbol, such as one of these shapes, has the same value each time it appears, and that an equal sign means “the same as.”

OBJECTIVES
• Students will use a balance to develop early algebraic concepts.
• Students will understand that a symbol can represent a number, and if the same symbol is used more than once, it still represents the same number.
• Students will understand that an equal sign means “the same as.”
• Students will develop strategies for finding different combinations of shapes to balance a scale.

COMMON CORE CONNECTIONS
Mathematical Practices

(1) Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them; (2) Reason abstractly and quantitatively; (3) Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others; (5) Use appropriate tools strategically; (7) Look for and make use of structure.