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Solving Algebraic Equations Part 1
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
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.
Answers to Homework
How to Solve Equations Part 1
Link to Part 2 of Solving Algebraic Equations
- Solving Algebraic Equations Part 2
In Solving Algebraic Equations Part 1 I show how to solve equations with two terms using an escalator. In this the second part of my mini series I will show you how to solve equations with three terms. To do...