Basic problems in Algebra I typically teach students to solve one-step equations to find variables with addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. From there, students learn to solve two-step equations.
Solving equations in Algebra I typically means finding the variable, usually represented by "x." The goal is typically to finish with x = _.
An example of an addition equation in Algebra I is x + 3 = 7. Students solve this problem by subtracting 3 from both sides of the equal sign, leaving them with x = 4. The opposite is true for the subtraction equation x - 3 = 7. In this case students solve the equation by adding 3 to both sides, resulting in x = 10.
Algebraic multiplication equations contain a number right next to the letter, for example 3x = 9. In this example, students must divide both sides by 3, resulting in x = 3.
Division equations in Algebra I look like fractions, such as x/2 = 14. To solve this equation, students must multiply by the denominator, or the number on the bottom. As with all algebraic equations, they complete the action on both sides, thus multiplying x/2 by 2/1 and 14 by 2. The end result is x = 28.
After that, students learn to solve two-step equations, such as 2x + 3 = 43. For this problem they start by subtracting 3 from both sides, resulting in 2x = 40. They then divide both sides by 2, resulting in x = 20.