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Maria's Math news - a FREE math newsletter for parents and teachers
Latest from my blog
Various worksheets on TONS of math topics you can generate for free!
Basic operations worksheet generator is updated! Make worksheets for whole numbers or integers - all four operations, including add & subtract or multiply & divide - horizontal or vertical - add a border and/or extra workspace, use a variable, and more.
Advice, reviews, and resources to help you choose a math curriculum!
Online math games, tutorials, and activities
Games you can play online, interactive tutorials, fun math websites and more. Arranged by topic/level for ease of use.
Learn how to TEACH concepts or about general concerns in math education.
In-depth reviews of math products
Math help & tutoring
A list of free message boards, math help websites, and online tutoring services.
Fun and games
I have two games on my site, plus links to many.
Game: Choose Math Operation
Word guess game (easy hangman)
Word guess game (difficult)
Balance as a model of an equation
This article discusses how to use the balance as a model or illustration of simple equations for students who are just starting to study equations.
An equation is basically saying that two things are EQUAL. Since in a balanced situation the two sides of the balance hold equal weight, we can model simple equations with a balance.
In the pictures balls represent ones, and the block represents the unknown x. To find out what the block weighs, you can
That way you will maintain the balance (or the equality in the equation).
In some situations you have to divide both sides of the equation by the same number. When is that? It's basically when you have the happy situation where there are ONLY x's (blocks) on one side but there's more than one.
Combining the operations
The legal operations thus are:
(There are others too but those are not needed in these simple equations.)
Example of both subtracting and dividing
In this example we use all the abovementioned operations: taking away from both sides of the equation and dividing the equation by the same number.
Try substituting this value x = 1 1/2 into the original equation 4x + 2 = 2x + 5 and check if the equation becomes true!
These equations are simple enough that you can solve them using this balance model. ALWAYS check your solution by substituting to the original equation.
Continue to Negative terms in an equation
How to teach equation solving: example (from my blog)