Solving Simple Equations

It is important to learn and understand how to solve simple equations in middle school. Understanding variables, expressions, and how to solve basic equations is essential to be successful in algebra and geometry math classes.

Variables


Variables are symbols that represent the unknown. Typically, in middle school math, variables are used to represent unknown numbers. In math, it is common to use letters such as X, Y, Z, etc… as variables when a number or value is not known. Variables are used in algebraic expressions and equations.

 

Expressions


A math expression is a math sentence. It is a group of numbers, math symbols, and operators (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division signs) that is used to represent a value. Algebraic expressions contain variables.

expression

Equations


An equation is a math expression in which there is an “equal sign.” An equation demonstrates that one quantity or expression is equal to another quantity or expression.

equation

Solving Equations with Inverse Operations


To solve any equation, the goal is to isolate the variable on one side of the equal sign.

To solve the equations, there are two basic steps.

1. Simplify each expression on each side of the equation using the distributive property of multiplication (get rid of all parentheses) and combine all like terms.

2. Use inverse operations to isolate the variable on one side of the equal sign.

Inverse Operations

addition — inverse — substraction

subtraction —- inverse —- addition

multiplication — inverse —- division

division — inverse — multiplication

Examples of Solved Equations


Examples

 

Solving equations

 

Modeling Equations

For online tutoring and check out my interactive math classes on Outschool.

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