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 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.
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.
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.
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.
addition — inverse — substraction
subtraction —- inverse —- addition
multiplication — inverse —- division
division — inverse — multiplication
Examples of Solved Equations