I hope they are building a love for math and mathematical thinking. Some things heard today: "When you take away the pawns from both sides it's like working with a mirror, you have to do the moves equally." "I can check to see if my 'x' is correct lots of ways. I can count each one; I can skip count them, I can multiply them." "I can try lots of numbers for the pawn but I make sure the sides are balanced and equal."
They work hard to line up and match the teacher version of the balance. I think this kind of matching may even help them when tracking on a standardized test. A lot went on in 30 minutes today!