Resources and Tools for Elementary Math Specialists and Teachers
Share this


Algebra Balance Scales

This virtual manipulative allows a teacher or student to represent a linear equation and solve it through the use of a balance beam. Unit blocks (representing 1s) and x-boxes (representing the unknown), are placed on the pans of a balance beam. Once the beam balances to represent the given linear equation, the learner can choose to perform any arithmetic operation to both sides of the equation keeping the beam balanced. The goal, of course, is to get a single X-box on one side, with however many unit blocks needed for balance thus giving the value of x. There is also the option of creating your own equations to solve.
Contributed by: National Library of Virtual Manipulatives, Publisher
Math TopicAlgebraic Thinking, Number Sense, Basic Operations, Number Concepts, Mathematical Practices, Mathematical Processes
Grade Level5, 6+
Resource TypeActivity, Interactive Media

  • Additional Information
    • AudienceLearner
    • LanguageEnglish (USA), Chinese, French, Spanish
    • Education Topic
    • Interdisciplinary Connection
    • Professional DevelopmentNo
    • ContributorNational Library of Virtual Manipulatives, Publisher
    • Publication Date2010
    • RightsCopyright (c) 1999-2010 Utah State University
    • AccessFree access
  • Standards
    • Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

      Select a standards document: