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Mental Math for Multiplication/Division Equations

Solve and check two-step equations in your head

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Mental Math for Multiplication and Division Equations

Jason loves homemade snack mix. He mixes fruit and nuts together and calls it GORP (Good Old Raisins and Peanuts). He decided to mix a huge batch of it to share with his hiking group. 

Travis and Henry two of the boys in Jason's group took a scoop, a scale, some gallon plastic bags and 24 pounds of GORP. Travis and Henry have to split up the GORP into bags so that each member of the group has the same amount. They have to gather GORP for the two group leaders as well.

How much GORP should go into each bag?

Travis and Henry grab a piece of paper and a pencil and begin working this out.

Wait a minute! An equation would be very helpful here. This Concept is all about writing and solving equations that have multiplication and division in them. You will learn all about equations and then revisit this problem at the end of the Concept.

Guidance

Previously we worked on single-variable addition and subtraction equations. To solve variable equations using multiplication and division we follow the same procedure. First we examine the problem and use mental math.

Using mental math requires you to remember your multiplication tables. Remember that division is the opposite of multiplication, so when using small numbers mental math and your times tables will be your best strategy to balancing equations.

9p=72

Here is a multiplication problem. Whenever you see a variable next to a number it means multiplication. Here we need to figure out, “What number times 9 is equal to 72?”

Using mental math, you can see that p is equal to 8.

Now let’s check our answer. We do this by substituting the value of the variable, 8, back into the original problem.

9(8)72=72=72

One side of the equation is equal to the other side, so our equation balances! Our work is complete and accurate.

We can apply mental math when solving division problems too. Remember that a fraction bar means division, so when you see one you know that you are going to be dividing.

x3=4

Remember that when the variable is on top of the fraction bar that we are dividing the bottom number into this number. So we ask ourselves, “What number divided by three is equal to four?”

We use mental math to figure this out. Our missing value is 12.

Next, we can check our work. We substitute 12 back into the equation for the variable x.

1234=4=4

One side of the equation is equal to the other side, so our equation balances! Our work is complete and accurate.

Practice solving these equations by using mental math.

Example A

5y=20

Solution: 4

Example B

6g=42

Solution: 7

Example C

x7=2

Solution: 14

Now back to the GORP calculations.

Jason worked on the GORP and then handed it over for distribution. Some of the best foods to hike with are cheese, peanut butter, candy bars, fruit, beef jerky, dried fruit and energy bars. Jason was very excited about the GORP.

Travis and Henry two of the boys in Kelly’s group took a scoop, a scale, some gallon plastic bags and 24 pounds of GORP. Travis and Henry have to split up the GORP into bags so that each member of the group has the same amount. They have to gather GORP for the two leaders as well.

How much GORP should go into each bag?

Travis and Henry grab a piece of paper and a pencil and begin working this out.

First, let’s work on writing an equation.

There are 10 kids per group + 2 leaders = 12 total members of the group.

There is 24 lbs of GORP.

12x=24

x= the number of pounds of GORP per person

Each person will have 2 pounds of GORP in their bag.

Guided Practice

Here is one for you to try on your own.

Alyssa sold $120 in raffle tickets. If each ticket costs $6, how many tickets did she sell? Write a variable equation and solve.

Answer

This problem will involve multiplication because the number of tickets times the cost of each ticket will equal the amount of money Alyssa made.

Let’s let y represent the number of tickets Alyssa sold. The equation 6y=120.

Using mental math, you should see the relationship between 6 and 12.

6×26×20y=12=120=20

Alyssa sold 20 raffle tickets. This is our answer.

Video Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a James Sousa video on how to solve one-step equations by multiplication and division.

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Directions: Use mental math to solve each multiplication or division equation.

1. 5x=25

2. 6x=48

3. 2y=18

4. 3y=21

5. 4a=16

6. 13b=26

7. 15a=30

8. 15x=45

9. x2=3

10. x4=5

11. x3=11

12. x5=12

13. x7=8

14. x8=9

15. x3=12

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Vocabulary

Algebraic Expression

An expression that has numbers, operations and variables, but no equals sign.

Equation

An equation is a mathematical sentence that describes two equal quantities. Equations contain equals signs.

Variable

A variable is a symbol used to represent an unknown or changing quantity. The most common variables are a, b, x, y, m, and n.

Variable Equation

A variable equation is a mathematical sentence that contains at least one variable or unknown quantity and an equals sign.

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