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Solving Algebraic Equations Part 1

Updated on November 26, 2012

Solving “Escalator Type” Algebraic Equations

In order to simplify what I was being taught in Algebra my mind came up with cartoon like descriptions for the equations I was expected to solve. I found that there were only two kinds of algebraic equations. In my mind I saw every equation I was asked to solve as being either a “Wall Type” or an “Escalator Type” equation. In this article I will deal with the “Escalator Type” equation.

An Escalator Type equation in algebra has only two terms and can be written with the equal sign between the two terms.

Here are four examples:

3X = 8

5a/3 = 9

3x/4 = 2/5

ax² = k

In order to solve an “Escalator Type” equation I came up with some simple rules that worked for every single “Escalator Type equation.

1. The equal sign turns into an escalator.

2. Numbers or letters can only move diagonally along the escalator. (Never vertically.)

3. When a number or letter is moved the number one is left behind like a calling card.

Following are the steps I went through in my mind to solve this kind of equation.

I used a program called Flash by Macromedia to create my animation exactly as I saw it in my minds eye and here is the animation clip by clip.

Every Escalator Type Equation has this Form

The Rules for Solving escalator Type Equations

Test Yourself

The proof of the pudding is in its eating. So now it is your turn.

Now try these questions and check your answers with the answers I have provided below.

Good luck!

Homework

Answers to Homework

How to Solve Equations Part 1

working

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