Algebra can be difficult for students to grasp because it is abstract. Balance Math Teaches Algebra, published by Critical Thinking Co, attempts to teach algebraic concepts by using the balance scale concept. We’ve used some other Balance Math books in the past, so Emily was familiar with the concept and found the beginning exercises fairly easy.
The second page is pictured below. The student can clearly see by the balanced scale that x=50, then uses that knowledge to make deductions about the next equation.
The equations become progressively more complex. Within a few days, Emily was easily solving puzzles like this one:
Because the problems are “puzzles,” they are fun to do and less intimidating than a standard math book might be. I think this is a great introduction to algebra that will give my daughter a good head start for when she starts studying “real” algebra in her math curriculum.
Critical Thinking Co. also sent me Balance Math and More, which includes Balance puzzles and other types of fun math puzzles featuring multiplication, division, and fractions.
To read more reviews of Balance Math Teaches Algebra and several other Critical Thinking Co. books, please visit the TOS Crew Blog.
Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received a free book from Critical Thinking Co. in order to write this review. All opinions are my own.