I found a really neat little applet tonight. It asks kids to work with cubes to make both sides of a pan balance equivalent. The visual is effective – different from the number balances we have used in our district, it shows blocks snapped together in different configurations that you use to make the scale balance. Once you have tried a combination of blocks, the computer translates your move into a number sentence, and shows whether you have balanced the scale or not. This is a great way to visually model equality and inequality for grades 1 and 2 students!