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BALANCE—SOLVING FOR UNKNOWNS, PART TWO

Grades: 5‒7

This activity is the second of three balance activities in which students develop intuitive strategies for solving algebraic equations. In the previous activity, students solved algebraic equations in which the variable was isolated on one side of each equation. In this follow-up activity, students create and solve balance puzzles in which the variable must first be isolated on one side of an algebraic equation in order to determine its value.  

OBJECTIVES 
  • Students will use a scale to represent algebraic equations.
  • Students will develop and use intuitive strategies to write and solve algebraic equations in which there is one unknown value.
  • Students will develop and use intuitive strategies to solve for an unknown value in cases where the value does not sit by itself on one side of an equation.

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.

Content Standards

6.EE2, 4, 5, 6, 7; 7.EE4

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This activity is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/. If you adapt and/or share this activity, you must attribute it to "KCP Technologies, a McGraw-Hill Education Company." You may distribute it only non-commercially under the same or similar license.


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under KCP Technologies Award ID 0918733, with grant period September 1, 2009 through August 31, 2013. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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