A physical balance scale can be a useful tool to help students understand the concept of balancing equations. However, some students may have misconceptions about the concept of balance even when using a physical model, focusing on the amount of weight only and ignoring the placement of the weight. Although most students at some point in their lives have been on a teeter-totter or seesaw, they rarely connect those playground objects with the mathematical principles involved in using a simple tool such as a lever.

Supplementary Materials

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Footnotes

Edited by Gwen Johnson, gwendolyn.johnson@unt.edu, University of North Texas, Dallas, and James Dogbey, jdogby@clemson.edu, Clemson University, South Carolina. Readers are encouraged to submit manuscripts through http://mtms.msubmit.net.

Contributor Notes

Shirley M. Matteson, shirley.matteson@ttu.edu, is an assistant professor of Middle Level Education at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. She is interested in students' understanding of algebraic representations and problem solving. She is also a National Board Certified Teacher in Early Adolescence and Mathematics.

Jennifer Wilhelm, jennifer.wilhelm@uky.edu, is an associate professor in science/mathematics education at the University of Kentucky. Wilhelm's research interest involves the design of interdisciplinary, projectbased learning environments.

(Corresponding author is Matteson shirley.matteson@ttu.edu)
(Corresponding author is Wilhelm jennifer.wilhelm@uky.edu)
Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School
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