The Balance Method

This web page does a great job of introducing the balance method to solve equations.


Cool Beans! This puzzle is suitable for Algebra I students (early algebra). There are 10 sets of questions. The answer for each set becomes part of the web address for the next set. Can you get to the end of the Maths Trail?

A worksheet for recording answers is available here:

An Equation Tool

Create and solve a linear equation by dragging the green circles up and down. The interactive graphics fill the whole screen so it is great for interactive whiteboards. Solutions must be natural numbers. From

These versions show if the equation is balanced or not, but the equation can't be changed.

Introduction to Solving Linear Equations Using a TI-Nspire

This is the first of three TI-Nspire documents on solving linear equations. This document introduces the concepts of true, false and open sentences, and the method of Guess-Check-Refine for solving linear equations.

Cups and Blobs with the TI-Nspire (see below) is an interactive introduction to the Balance Method of solving linear equations, which is then followed by Equation Solver with the TI-Nspire (see below).

All that is missing is a TI-Nspire document that demonstrates the Backtracking Method for solving Linear Equations. Any takers :-) ?

Connect Four: Linear Equations

A classic Connect Four game with a twist: Before playing a chip, your group first has to solve an equation. The teacher can set the time limit and the level of difficulty of the equation before the game starts.

Equation Solver with the TI-Nspire

A key challenge of using computer algebra with students in the early years of secondary school lies in not allowing the tool to do all the work!

In this TI-Nspire document, a student enters the equation to be solved in cell B2, and then enters each step of the solution in the cells below. As each step is entered, the "check" column indicates whether this is correct or incorrect. The final result may be checked against the graph on the next page.

Algebra Balance Scales

This virtual manipulative allows you to solve simple linear equations through the use of a balance beam. Note: it is a large file, so it may take some time to load.

Algebra Balance Scales - Negatives
This version includes negative numbers and negative coefficients on x.

Balance When Adding and Subtracting

A cool flash program that graphically demonstrates the balance method for solving equations. Very nice!

Cups and Blobs with the TI-Nspire

This is an interactive TI-Nspire document that helps students to understand the balance method for solving linear equations.

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