Symbolic Representation

Balancing the Scale

Opening

Balance Scales

An equation consists of two equivalent expressions that are linked by an equal sign (=).

An inequality consists of two nonequivalent expressions that are linked by a less than sign (<) or a greater than sign (>).

Using the Balance Scale interactive, place the numbers 2 and 3 on the left side of the scale.

  • What number(s) do you need to place on the right side of the scale in order to balance the scale?
  • Write an equation to represent the balanced scale.
  • Now, “unbalance” the scale so that what is on the left side is greater than what is on the right side.
  • Write an inequality to represent the unbalanced scale.

INTERACTIVE: Balancing the Scale

Hint:

  • Think about the definitions of equation andinequality :
    • An equation consists of two equivalent expressions that are linked by an equal sign (=).
    • An inequality consists of two nonequivalent expressions that are linked by a less than sign (<) or a greater than sign (>).
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