This lab guides students through two of the algebra virtual manipulatives (applets) from the nlvm website: Algebra Balance Scales and Algebra Balance Scales - Negatives. These virtual manipulatives are a great way for students to explore solving two-step equations with positive and negative coefficients in a fun and conceptual format. My students really enjoy working through these labs and I enjoy the math understanding and discussions that follow. Five other nlvm labs for Middle School Math are available in My TpT Store -- Check ‘em Out!
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The website nlvm.usu.edu “national library of virtual manipulatives” is a collection of interactive math activities that allow students to visually examine, explore and develop mathematical concepts from the Common Core Math Standards. These virtual manipulatives can be used in a whole class setting, in small groups, individually in a computer lab, or at home for those students who have internet access. The lab sheets guide the students' exploration of the virtual manipulatives and help keep them focused and accountable.
The nlvm.usu.edu website requires a java plugin (free download online) for Mac and Windows computers. These applets will not run on ipads or android tablets -- sorry.