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*Contributor: Danielle Childers. Lesson ID: 10829*

X marks the spot! That may help pirates with treasure maps, but how does that help with algebra? Take the simple steps needed to solve multi-step equations that reveal the identity of Mr. Variable!

categories

subject

Math

learning style

Visual

personality style

Beaver

Grade Level

Middle School (6-8)

Lesson Type

Skill Sharpener

Why learn algebra? Finding "X" is only useful if you are a pirate!

Arrr me mateys, that is not correct!

Algebra *is* useful for many real-life applications; for example: engineering a roller coaster, figuring out if you have enough money to make a purchase at a store, and finding the distance to your favorite locations.

Check out this *Solving Real-World Problems Using Multi-Step Equation: An Application (Algebra I) *video, by CK-12 Foundation, to see how it might be used in your life:

Now, it's your turn to think of ways that you use algebra in your daily life. Share your ideas with someone.

In this lesson, you will specifically review how to solve multi-step algebra equations.

In any algebraic equation, you need to solve for X (the variable). In a single-step algebraic equation, it is fairly simple to isolate the variable — all you need to do is the inverse operation to the constant. See below:

To isolate X you need to do the inverse of +4, which is -4:

X + 4 = 32

-4 = 32 -4

X = 28

In a multi-step equation, it just means there is more than one step to isolate and solve for X.

Here is an example of a multi-step equation:

2x + 10 = 34

2x - 10 = 34 - 10 (STEP 1: Subtract 10 from each side)

2x = 24

2x ÷ 2 = 24 ÷ 2 (STEP 2: Divide each side by 2)

X = 12

Here is another great explanation on *Algebra Basics: Solving 2-Step Equations - Math Antics*:

It might also be helpful to you to watch Math Bhambri's *Solving Multi Step Equations using Algebra Tiles (Part 1)*:

For a reference on Inverse Operations, see the chart below:

Continue on to the *Got It?* section to try a few problems on your own!