Pan Balance Makes an Appearance in Germany

  • Pan Balance Makes an Appearance in Germany

    Carol Fears

    Carol Fears teaches sixth-grade math at Landstuhl Elementary/Middle School on a U.S. Army post in Germany. Throughout her 27 years of teaching, Illuminations has become her go-to resource for teaching new topics or looking for new ideas. Fears says, "Using Illuminations has allowed me to provide different experiences for my students as I continue to grow and learn as a teacher."

    Two applets that Fears has been using are Pan Balance - Shapes and Pan Balance - Numbers. "The pan balance problems are a great way to help students understand an equal sign as a meaning of balance and equality rather than 'the answer,'" Fears quotes. By having students write down their correctly solved problems and collecting them, Fears is able to evaluate students for comprehension. She says, "After teaching one step equations, the students then work on the number balance portion. It is a good reinforcement for those that need more help, and it is good practice for those that understood."

    Fears uses Pan Balance as an enrichment and extension activity for those who need it. She says, "The [Illuminations] activities and instructions are very kid-friendly and easy to use. I include activities in almost any unit I teach. And the kids (and parents) love that it can be accessed at home."

    Need an activity for algebraic expressions? Try Illuminations' applet Pan Balance - Expressions as a companion to Pan Balance - Numbers and Pan Balance - Shapes!