To discuss solving strategies, it's best to start with a small number of blocks. Remember that the goal is equation-solving on paper. Lab Gear strategies should be connected to corresponding paper strategies. One way to help make those connections is to have pairs of students work together: one with the Lab Gear, the other on paper, recording the moves. (This works best if starting with a small number of blocks.) Another way is to have two students solve in parallel: one with the blocks, one on paper. Hopefully they get the same answers!