Thursday, April 22, 2010

Harder Balancing

As we are mastering the balance/scale problems, we have moved into problems that require a little more thought and strategy rather than guess and check methods.

In the problem above, students begin to see that if they remove the same amount of weight from each side of the scale, it remains balanced.

By removing 12 grams from each side, the student would conclude that the apple weighs 2 grams.

Finally, in second grade, we move to multi-step balance problems. This problem is an example of one of the more challenging problems your child will encounter this year.

First, students begin by eliminating the same amount of weight from each side. They know they need to keep the scale balanced in order to help them solve the problem.

Finally, students use the weight that is left to divide evenly to each flower. At this point, some students may try break the number apart into groups, or begin with a simple skip counting "guess and check" method. In this problem, the solution is simple. There are 5 flowers left, so each flower must be worth 5 grams.

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