Hands-On Equations is a visual and kinesthetic system developed to introduce students in grades 3 to 8 to essential algebraic concepts. It is a system designed to enhance student self-esteem and interest in mathematics. In a few lessons students learn to solve equations such as 4x + 3 = 3x + 9 and 2(2x + 1) = x + 8. Later lessons teach additional concepts such as negative numbers and negative variables. The students physically set up the equation using the manipulatives and a flat laminated balance and then proceed to carry out “legal moves” to solve the equation. The legal moves are the physical counterpart of the abstract mathematical principles which are used to solve these equations.
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