Understanding and really enjoying equations is not an easy task for young learners. Equations seem hard. And the concept seems incomprehensible for many children.
So how can a teacher or educator make this vital part of any mathematical learning experience more fun and easily accessible for young minds?
With this balancing game, there is a new way to demonstrate how equations work. The fun pictures will pique the interest of even those who feel like mathematics is not their strong point. It invites to play and learn at the same time.
The Balance Game is made up of a simple concept: two libras are set as a default – these are the known variables. A third one needs to be “found out” – ie. put in balance. The possible solutions are given below the question. Children will not even notice that what they are doing is mathematics, because different areas of the brain are stimulated: the pictures are colorful and fun, while the problem solving skills that are necessary are easily obtained, even if the mathematical skill is not yet far advanced.
By working through these problems, children understand that in order to balance the scale, both sides must be equal to each other. This lays vital groundwork for understanding how equations work in general. It also showcases how symbols are used in mathematics (x or y representing a number – the pictures representing a “weight” that needs to be balanced).
Due to the fact that the solutions are offered in a multiple choice format, there can be little confusion about how to play the game and this encourages children to try out different possibilities, which helps their self esteem.
This game is a great brain teaser, is it takes the mind off a purely mathematical train of thought and involves a creative approach, which children will appreciate.
Teachers and educators can easily create their own balance games. There are over 8000 images in the galleries to choose from, and teachers can even input their own pictures into the software to create individualized results. Categories such as pets or fruits can be kept as such or mixed and matched together to create a crazy and fun landscape for children to explore.
It only takes a few minutes to put together a balancing game, and they are easily adjusted to any difficulty level. By utilizing custom images, teachers and educators can directly target their children’s current interests (Popstars, Games, Superheros etc). This will create an even more inviting tone for the children and they will love to find how to balance their favorite pet with wild animals, for example. There can be up to 3 different variables utilized, which means children have to actively think through the problem.
Teachers and educators can access these Balancing Games easily and can create new games all the time. The software is easy to understand, it does not take a lot of learning or experience to create these games and use them in worksheets, tests or as a fun “distraction” within a class.