Even if we did have them at one time, I'm guessing nobody really knew what the heck to do with them, so eventually they started to get packed away, given away, thrown away (?!) or lost. I have to admit, If I had one in my room before the training, I wouldn't have known what to do with it either. But this is truly an amazing and fun math resource to have.

Let's start with a quick overview of how a Number Balance works using addition. The blue "weights" you see stacked on the base of the balance are all the same. They are not numbered or of different weights and you can use any of them on either side. The magic is in the balance itself. You can see here I have one weight on the 6 pin on each side and it's balanced.

Now, I move it over just one pin so you can see how obviously unbalanced it becomes by being "off" just one number. The lesson to the kids: 6 and 5 are not equal, so they don't balance. This reinforces the concept that the equal sign symbolizes more than just "the answer comes next" and actually means that both sides of the equation

*balance*.
Here I'm showing that 6 on one side balances with 2 + 4 on the other side.

Challenge your students to see how many combinations they can find to balance with 6.

You can even stack two weights on the 3 to show 6 balances with 3 + 3.

Neat right? There are so many ways to use this Number Balance. Teaching the kids that 5+1=4+2 can be amazingly difficult, but imagine showing them using the balance. Allow the kids time to work with the balance at centers and they'll soon be coming up with all the ways they can make it balance with equations on each side.

You can also use the Number Balance for subtraction, multiplication and division. It really is an amazing math manipulative - and the kids can't wait to get their hands on it! I've found a great free resource from Move It Math to use with the balance. It has teacher information and task cards and activity pages for the kids to use at a center or small group. Just click on the picture below to check it out:

How would you like one for your classroom? Just enter the giveaway below for a chance to win one!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I have never seen or used a number balance before and as soon as you started discussing it I got all excited! I would love to use something like this to help my student better understand the concept behind a skill and the language used in that skill. THANK YOU for opening my eyes to new tools out there, that apparently have been out there for a long time!!!

ReplyDeleteNope, neither have I. Off to find out if school will buy one for us, since my chances of winning are slim. (I am not on facebook, therefore not on pinterest either.)

ReplyDeleteThanks for letting us know about this math tool!

tokyoshoes (at) hotmail (dot) com

I have not used this number balance but a LOOOOOONG time ago I used a different version of this balance! :) I think it is a great way to show that both sides balance in a number sentence!

ReplyDeleteI have never used one before. This would be something new and different to have in the classroom.

ReplyDeletedivingintolearning@gmail.com

I've never used a number balance before, but this would be a GREAT asset to my 1st grade classroom!

ReplyDeleteI saw this in a workshop and loved it!

ReplyDeleteI love these number balances! They remind me of the old days when we absolutely knew how important it was to show not tell - even in math!!! I would use it as a tool to build and support their understanding of partners and totals. Number sense = Common Sense!

ReplyDeleteI love these number balances! They remind me of the old days when we absolutely knew how important it was to show not tell - even in math!!! I would use it as a tool to build and support their understanding of partners and totals. Number sense = Common Sense!

ReplyDeleteI have never used one of these before but it looks like fun. I know my second grade students would love it!

ReplyDeleteJessica

Learn, Play & Have Fun

Would love to use one in my classroom!

ReplyDeleteI have never seen this before but I love it! Thanks for sharing!

ReplyDeletePixy Stix and Teacher Tricks

These are great! I'm teaching one and twos this year and this balance would be a great addition to our math program.

ReplyDeleteI have never seen or used one of these before, but I love it!

ReplyDeleteDana

Fun in First Grade

I think I saw a few of these in our storage closet the other day! Wahoo. I LOVE this idea, as I was trying to figure out a way to get it up and working on the smart board... Now I can use this. Super excited. Thanks.. :) Only wish my school allowed me to see the entry form to win some (because I'm not quite sure if I really did see them..) Thanks for the idea.

ReplyDeleteI'm a new blogger. Check it out/suggestion/comments appreciated :)

http://primaryteacherhood.blogspot.com/

Ashley :)

I always try to make my own number balance using numbered weights and a regular balance but this would be soooo much easier to illustrate this concept! :)

ReplyDeleteWhat a great math teaching tool! I haven't seen this one before, but would love to win one.

ReplyDeleteConnie Anderson

matya105@aol.com

I have never seen a number balance before but I LOVE it! What an awesome way to illustrate different concepts! Thanks for the chance to win one!

ReplyDeleteI had to laugh reading this post. I have had the broken, unused number balances in my classroom before.

ReplyDeleteI never knew quite what to do with it! But now that I have some years under my belt, I know exactly how to teach with it!

I would love one.

Samantha

ms.smartypants@rocketmail.com

I have seen one before, but never used it. I LOVE the visual to show the representation for those concrete learners. nadostaler@yahoo.com

ReplyDeleteOur math coach used one of these in my classroom last year and I LOVED it! Hope I win my own!

ReplyDeleteGreat idea and so many possibilities......another item to add to my wish list (loved yesterday's Pop game).

ReplyDeleteI have never seen one of these before. I love that you post resources like this to broaden our horizons :)

ReplyDeleteI've seen these before but have had no clue what they were for! How fantastic, what a visual way to learn about the equals sign!

ReplyDeleteHolly

hollyw_20@hotmail.com

And now I'm thinking - do I have one of these stashed back in the corner behind the file cabinet. I could really use one, some of my kiddos are just struggling.

ReplyDeleteSara

Email: saraatschool2@yahoo.com

ReplyDeleteI have seen one before, but I have never used one. I think it would be a great station idea!

ReplyDeleteElizabeth L.

looks great!

ReplyDeleteI have seen on but have not had the pleasure of using one. Would work well with balanced equations! :)

ReplyDeleteChristina Marie

prec0ci0us~at~bellsouth.net

er seen one

DeleteI had never seen or used a number balance like this before! I would love to get one for my class!

ReplyDeleteJennifer @ Herding Kats In Kindergarten

I have not seen or used a number balance before! This thing is SO COOL! I hope I win, and if not, I'll definitely be purchasing one!!

ReplyDeleteAngela :)

Hippo Hooray for Second Grade!I have wanted one of these for a long time!

ReplyDeletekimworthey@yahoo.com

I have a big one and small individual ones for my class that we got a training last summer. Thanks for that great website to use with it!

ReplyDeleteMarlene

I Heart Teaching Elementary

i've never seen this ...but LOVE it! thanks for the info & opportunity to win :)

ReplyDeleteChristine

cutekids2.cj@gmail.com

This looks awesome! I would love to win one for my daughter's 2nd grade teacher. I love hand-on learning tools. Thanks for your blog. I've been using several ideas for at-home math practice.

ReplyDeleteI have never seen one of these!!! They're awesome!!!

ReplyDeleteSadly, I must admit that I had a number balance in the classroom I was given back in my first year teaching. At the time, I had no idea or training on what a valuable resource it was. I think I actually let another teacher have it. :( If I can be lucky enough to win now, that won't happen again! Thank you for the task card link!

ReplyDeletenever seen this before! very cool!

ReplyDeleteI have not seen this before but live anything visual and interactive!

ReplyDeleteI remember seeing these when I was student teaching, but I haven't seen any around for years! Funny how thins cycle back around! I used to have a book that I inherited from a retired teacher, but I just threw it away!!!

ReplyDeleteI have never seen one of these, but would love to have something like this for my students. Thanks so much for these awesome giveaways!

ReplyDeleteGreat giveaway! Would love to win this!

ReplyDeleteThanks for sharing!!

I have seen one but never knew how to use one. This is awesome! Thank you for sharing it with us!

ReplyDeletebriawnacallahan@gmail.com

I have never seen one of these before, but it would be SO RELEVANT in my classroom. I often explain how the = sign in an equation is like a balance...things have to be even on each side. This would be a great tool to explicitly show that and for group/independent practice.

ReplyDeleteLove this classroom tool! Wish our second grade classroom had one.

ReplyDeleteI have not heard of this before, what a wonderful idea!

ReplyDeleteNever knew what you did with these, Thanks!

ReplyDeleteI have never and I would loooove to use one win my kiddos!!!

ReplyDeleteNo, I have never used one. But I think my students would love it. We use a lot of manipulatives in our class due to it being a self contained disabled room. Thanks for the chance to win one.

ReplyDeleteI have never used one but would love to! Thank you!

ReplyDeleteI haven't ever seen a balance like this and can think of so many ways to have math conversations around this math manipulative!

ReplyDeleteI have seen these before, and they are so neat!

ReplyDeleteMeg

Third Grade in the First State

I have seen these, but not used them before!! I love this & think it would be a great addition to teaching my students addition and number sense.

ReplyDeleteLisa

Learning Is Something to TreasureNo but it looks really cool!!

ReplyDeleteI have seen them when I was subbing but now that I have my own class ... this would be wonderful!!! Thanks for the chance at winning one

ReplyDeleteKaren

tommysmom0206@yahoo.com

That is so cool! I have never seen one. It would be incredibly useful! Thanks for the give away!

ReplyDeleteOops, here is my email: angelicacrisp@gmail.com

ReplyDeleteOh my goodness! I'm so excited for the chance to win this! Ever since you first posted it with ideas I have been thinking of all sorts of ways to use something like this in my classroom!

ReplyDeleteI've never used a number balance before. I can think of lots of ways it would be great to use in my classroom.

ReplyDeleteI have never used one of these before, but I see how useful they would be!

ReplyDeleteSdavis6281@hotmail.com