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Learning objects Balance the cups: use the rule 3

TLF ID L5977

Put blocks into the cups on the scales to make them balance, using the number rule A + B = C + D. Use your knowledge of addition to help you work out how many blocks you need in each cup. Write the number sentence to show an equal number of blocks on each side. Look for patterns to help you think of another solution. This learning object is the last in a series of three learning objects.

Educational details

Key learning objectives
  • Students apply an additive number relationship to determine a range of values for variables.
  • Students construct number sentences to record the equivalent relations by inserting three missing values.
Educational value
  • Provides experience in basic algebraic thinking by applying rules and constructing equations using strategies such as substituting values and noticing patterns.
  • Promotes understanding that an equation is an expression of equality.
  • Provides a dynamic model of equality that allows the student to explore number.
  • Includes a print option that provides a record of the solution and a new similar problem to solve.
Year level


Learning area
  • mathematics
  • Mathematics/Number and algebra
    • Mathematics/Algebra
    • Mathematics/Algebraic methods
    • Mathematics/Arithmetic
    • Mathematics/Equations
    • Mathematics/Number concepts
    • Mathematics/Number operations
    • Mathematics/Number patterns
    • Mathematics/Number relationships
    • Mathematics/Number sentences
    • Mathematics/Numbers
    • Mathematics/Thinking
    • Mathematics/Simple equations
    • Mathematics/Reasoning
    • Mathematics/Working mathematically
    • Knowledge;
    • Comprehension;
    • Application;
    • Analysis
    Student activity
    • Interactives;
    • Experiment;
    • Analysis;
    • Modelling
    Learning design
    • Experiential learning;
    • Independent learning;
    • Problem solving;
    • Visual learning

    Other details

    • Publisher
    • Date of contribution: 20 Sep 2013
    • Organisation: Education Services Australia
    • Address: Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia
    • URL:
    • Script writer
    • Organisation: CADRE Design
    • Address: Ultimo NSW Australia
    • Subject matter expert
    • Name: Dr Jenni Way
    • Organisation: University of Western Sydney
    • Address: Penrith NSW Australia
    • Validator
    • Name: Graham Jones
    • Organisation: Griffith University
    • Address: Broadbeach QLD Australia
    • Technical implementer
    • Organisation: CADRE Design
    • Address: Ultimo NSW Australia
    Access profile
    • Colour independence
    • Device independence
    • Hearing independence
    Learning resource type
    • Interactive Resource
    • Microsoft Internet Explorer - minimum version: 8.0 (MS-Windows) - maximum version: 9.0 (MS-Windows)
    • Firefox - minimum version: (MS-Windows)
    • Safari - minimum version: 5.1 (MacOS)
    Operating systems
    • MacOS - minimum version: 10.6
    • MS-Windows - minimum version: XP - maximum version: 7
    • © Education Services Australia Ltd, 2013, except where indicated under Acknowledgements.