Review of Hands-On Equations

I've written a comprehensive review of Hands-On Equations, a program that lets students solve linear equations using a balance scale - making it like a "play."

I was impressed with this program - it teaches them equations that even include negative unknowns and negative numbers and require the usage of the distributive property.

For example, in the end of level III of Hands-On Equations, students can do equations such as

4(x + 2) - 3 = 5x + 2(-x) + 3

But even just going through the first level of the program (first seven lessons) enables students to solve equations such as

4(x + 2) = 2x + 10

Read the  review here!

Comments

Kelly Holman said…
It's exciting that your kids are learning algebra so early! I learned algebra with this system. However, I've since found alternatives that I think are much better. I use Algebra Models, which can represent any expression or equation up to quadratics. Another alternative is to physically represent the balance concept, with either the Four-Pan Algebra Balance or the Weigh-Too algebra kit Both of these enforce the principles of balanced equations, rather than expecting that students apply the rules correctly from the beginning.

Even for students who understand easily, manipulatives lead to a deeper understanding. I'm a math tutor, but there are things I never thought about until I saw them represented with the Algebra models.

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