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**010-012 xxx**

*Math Games & Activities*, Vol. 1

**Balance Beam Cutout (p. 129)**

**The beam for a math balance.**

To make a math balance, suspend the beam from a large paper cup as shown in Figures 3 and 4. (An alternative to the cup is an empty milk carton.)

**Figure 5**

The major use of a math balance is to develop the concept of equality by having elementary school students use one to solve problems like the ones on pages 130, 131, and 132. Since a math balance is self-correcting, and the problems are non-verbal, even very young children can solve them and, in doing so, not only experience equality in a meaningful way, but are introduced to the basic facts for addition and multiplication.

A math balance can also be used to teach problem solving by having children solve teacher-directed problems like the following:

**Figure 3. Front**

**Figure 4. Side**

If the beam is off balance to begin with, trim the heavy end of it with scissors. For weights, use partially straightened paper clips as shown in Figure 5.