Symbolic Representation

Equations and Inequalities

Work Time

Equations and Inequalities

Set up numbers on both sides of the scale to match the descriptions below.
After you set up each scale, write the equation or inequality that represents the scale.

  1. Use Balance Scale A to set up a balanced scale (both sides equal) that has two numbers on both sides, using four different numbers.
  2. Modify your scale from the previous step to make the right side less than the left side.
  3. Use Balance Scale B to set up an unbalanced scale with one number on one side and two numbers on the other side.
  4. Modify your scale from the previous step to make it balanced.
  5. Use Balance Scale C to set up an unbalanced scale that has three numbers on one side and two numbers on the other side, such that the side with two numbers is greater than the side with the three numbers.
  6. Modify your scale from the previous step to make it balanced.
  7. Modify your scale again by placing the same number on both sides. What happens?

INTERACTIVE: Balance Scale A

INTERACTIVE: Balance Scale B

INTERACTIVE: Balance Scale C

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 (>).
  • If the scale is balanced, write an equation.
  • If the scale is not balanced, write an inequality.
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