8th Grade Balances Equations

Balancing equations can be tricky, but 8th graders in physical science class have been using element and molecule cards to figure it out.  First, students start with the basic equation which they place on the mat provided.  Then, they check to see if it is balanced.  If it is not already balanced, they begin adding atoms and molecules until the equation is equal on both sides of the yield sign.  To check their work, students add the mass values on the backs of the cards.  If the mass of the reactants is equal to the product, then the students know they have successfully balanced the equation proving the Law of Conservation of Mass.  Mrs. Wallace hopes that the visual of actually “moving” the atoms around on the mat will help balancing equations make more sense to her students.

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