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Writing Algebraic Equations

Describes the process for translating a word problem into an equation in order to solve.
by

Deborah Dyer

on 21 October 2014

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Transcript of Writing Algebraic Equations

2nd step
5th Step
3rd step
Reread
4th step
1st Step
Writing Algebraic Equations
Read the word problem
Don't just read it once. Reread the problem as you solve it to make sure you don't miss anything.
Define the variable
The perimeter of an isosceles triangle is 20 cm. What is the length of its base if the sides are 8.5 cm?
Ask yourself:
"What am I being asked to find?"
b = base of triangle
The perimeter of an isosceles triangle is 20 cm. What is the length of its base if the sides are 8.5 cm?
Restate the problem.
Ask yourself:
"What information am I being given?"
Ask yourself:
"What do I already know about this situation?"
The perimeter of an isosceles triangle is 20 cm. What is the length of its base if the sides are 8.5 cm?
The perimeter of an isosceles triangle is 20 cm. What is the length of its base if the sides are 8.5 cm?
perimeter means the sum of all sides
isosceles triangles have 2 congruent (equal) sides
The first side plus the second side plus the base equals the perimeter.
Translate the problem from words to symbols.
The first side plus the second side plus the base equals the perimeter.
The perimeter of an isosceles triangle is 20 cm. What is the length of its base if the sides are 8.5 cm?
Ask yourself:
"What operations are being desribed in the problem?"
Ask yourself:
"What do these words mean?"
8.5 + 8.5 + b = 20
Last Step
Solve the problem.
Ask yourself:
"What steps can I take to determine the value of the variable?"
8.5 + 8.5 + b = 20
17 + b = 20
17 + 3 = 20
b = 3
Answer the question.
The perimeter of an isosceles triangle is 20 cm. What is the length of its base if the sides are 8.5 cm?
The base is 3 cm.
Ask yourself:
"Am I done?"
Ask yourself:
"Have I answered the question that was asked?"
Full transcript