Stable Scales

A Maths Starter of The Day

Find the weight of a pineapple, an apple, a lemon and an orange

[Teacher: For more randomly generated balance puzzles see Stable Scales Quiz]

Share

Topics: Starter | Algebra

• Transum,
•
• Solving problems like this has been an activity used for many years to introduce students to the methods used for solving simple linear equations. It is a good analogy for developing the notion of ‘doing the same to both sides’ to keep the equation balanced.
• Sycamore Class, Buckfastleigh Primary, Devon
•
• This challenge helped our class to use our brains first thing in the morning and we even managed to solve the problem. Year 5.
• Mrs Clay's Maths Set, St Helens ,, Pontefract
•
• We really enjoyed this starter. It was a good introduction to algebra.
•
• The graphics are (as usual) very high quality. It would be amazing to have an interactive version of this (showing one balance at a time) that pupils could select what to remove from each side, then click a button to see those items go, maintaining the balance (or tip, if they've got it wrong), leading them to a step by step approach to solving / showing working, rather than just 'here's the answer' approach. Would be a brilliant teaching aid!

[Transum: Good idea, I'll put it on the 'To do' list. Thanks]
• Ysgol Gymraeg Ifor Hael, Twitter
•

How did you use this starter? Can you suggest how teachers could present or develop this resource? Do you have any comments? It is always useful to receive feedback and helps make this free resource even more useful for Maths teachers anywhere in the world.

If you don't have the time to provide feedback we'd really appreciate it if you could give this page a score! We are constantly improving and adding to these starters so it would be really helpful to know which ones are most useful. Simply click on a button below:

Excellent, I would like to see more like this
Good, achieved the results I required
Satisfactory
Didn't really capture the interest of the students
Not for me! I wouldn't use this type of activity.

This starter has scored a mean of 3.0 out of 5 based on 262 votes.

Previous Day | This starter is for 21 November | Next Day

Your access to the majority of the Transum resources continues to be free but you can help support the continued growth of the website by doing your Amazon shopping using the links on this page. Below is an Amazon search box and some items chosen and recommended by Transum Mathematics to get you started.

The analytics show that more and more people are accessing Transum Mathematics via an iPad as it is so portable and responsive. The iPad has so many other uses in addition to solving Transum's puzzles and challenges and it would make an excellent gift for anyone.

The redesigned Retina display is as stunning to look at as it is to touch. It all comes with iOS, the world's most advanced mobile operating system. iPad Pro. Everything you want modern computing to be. more...

I had been tutoring the wonderful Betsy for five years. When the day came for our last ever session together before the end of her Year 13, I received this beautiful book as a gift of appreciation.

This a very readable book by Ben Orlin. I'm really enjoying the humour in the writing and the drawings are great.

Ben Orlin answers maths' three big questions: Why do I need to learn this? When am I ever going to use it? Why is it so hard? The answers come in various forms-cartoons, drawings, jokes, and the stories and insights of an empathetic teacher who believes that mathematics should belong to everyone.

A Compendium Of Mathematical Methods

How many different methods do you know to solve simultaneous equations? To multiply decimals? To find the nth term of a sequence?

A Compendium of Mathematical Methods brings together over one hundred different approaches from classrooms all over the world, giving curious mathematicians the opportunity to explore fascinating methods that they've never before encountered.

If you teach mathematics to any age group in any country, you are guaranteed to learn lots of new things from this delightful book. It will deepen your subject knowledge and enhance your teaching, whatever your existing level of expertise. It will inspire you to explore new approaches with your pupils and provide valuable guidance on explanations and misconceptions. more...

 Teacher, do your students have access to computers?Do they have iPads or Laptops in Lessons? Whether your students each have a TabletPC, a Surface or a Mac, this activity lends itself to eLearning (Engaged Learning).

Transum.org/go/?Start=November21

Here is the URL which will take them to a related student activity.

Transum.org/go/?to=scales

For Students:

For All: