# Balancing Act Puzzles

Today I want to highlight a collection of Balancing Act Puzzles from Heather Sparks. Heather is a bit of a legend in the world of Oklahoma math teaching. She was the 2009 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year. If you teach middle school math, her website is worth a browse. I am positive you will find multiple lesson ideas!

Heather has created a free PDF of 20 balance puzzles for teachers to use in their classrooms. These make a great bellwork activity. They are also a great addition to units on equations or systems of equations.

There are five levels of puzzles (levels A – E). The puzzles get progressively harder as the levels progress!

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1. Mike says:

What do the center weights tell us in A1? Wouldn’t A1 have infinitely many solutions because the center weights do not affect the balance? Am I missing something? Could you email me the solution to the first puzzle so I can understand?

1. I just took a look at A1. I do believe there are multiple solutions. I don’t have an answer key since these puzzles are not my own creation.

2. Rachel says:

The key is that the total of all weights is 12. So each of the three spokes/branches has to equal 4. The triangle weighs 4, the circle 2, the square 3, and the flat rectangles are 1 each.