Solving equations is all about balance: Using virtual manipulatives in the middle school classroom

Robin Magruder, Margaret Mohr-Schroeder

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Virtual manipulatives provide benefits to students as they encounter the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics content and practice standards. The National Library of Virtual Manipulatives provides an abundant supply of virtual manipulatives for all K-12 grades and mathematics content areas. Specifically, in this chapter, the authors explore the use of Algebra Balance Scale manipulatives in a middle school mathematics classroom. Using virtual manipulatives increases understanding of the equal sign, algebraic symbols, and increases procedural and conceptual knowledge. In this chapter, the authors demonstrate how using virtual manipulatives helped middle school students to meet grade level content standards for solving equations in one variable. Additionally, practice standards, such as making sense of problems and persevering to solve them, modeling with mathematics, and using tools strategically through the use of virtual manipulatives are addressed. They conclude by considering practical issues related to incorporating virtual manipulatives in mathematics classrooms.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCommon Core Mathematics Standards and Implementing Digital Technologies
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781466640887
StatePublished - May 31 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (all)
  • Mathematics (all)
  • Computer Science (all)


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