The EquaBeam is the quintessential mathematics balance:
• Its single-beam construction and adjustment clips beneath the beam ensure accuracy.
• The weights are covered so as not to be an “attractive nuisance” for young students.
• The zero peg is aligned with the pegs for the numerals 1-10 as on a number line.
• Together, the front and back pegs for a numeral hold 10 weights which allows the demonstration of the multiplication facts and division facts up to the decades, for example, 10 x 9 = 90 and 90 ÷ 9 = 10.
• The beam extends out to 12, instead of 10, on either side to utilize the divisibility of 12 for multiplication (e.g., 3 x 4 = 12), division (e.g., 12 ÷ 6 = 2), and fractions (e.g., 1/3 + 1/4 = 7/12) and to capitalize on the frequency of 12 in everyday equivalences such as twelve 5-minute intervals in an hour, 12 inches in a foot, and 12 months in a year.
• The channel side of the beam facilitates changing topics with strips that fit in the channel and re-label the pegs.
As a hands-on, interactive math manipulative, the EquaBeam is unparalleled in versatility and sophistication. It is the perfect manipulative for reinforcing the number facts and revealing the structure of arithmetic—that, for example, the addition facts are commutative (a+b = b+a), associative, [(a+b)+c = a+(b+c)], and distributive [a(b+c) = ab+ac]—thus aiding mental arithmetic and reducing the number of facts to be learned.
Its introduction to algebra, as with Nice Mice ALGEBRA on pages 13-14 of EquaBeam Tasks, is natural and non-threatening to students of all ages. (Variables such as A, B, C, … are simply “numbers to find on the EquaBeam.”) By relabeling the pegs on the channel side, the EquaBeam can be used to teach time, money, measurement, fractions, decimals, percent, and more in conjunction with other manipulatives (clocks, play money, measuring devices, fraction models, etcetera).
Because of its self-checking nature, the EquaBeam is particularly suited to instructional centers and independent learning. The recommended number of EquaBeams for an instructional center is 2-4, allowing for 4-8 students at the center. For a school, add 10 EquaBeams for every 10 classes to be shared among the classes for whole-class lessons using the EquaBeam.
Measures 31 inches long, 4 inches wide, and 10-1/2 inches high.