Jessica and Casey worked at a bakery during school vacation. One day Casey was asked to divide up many pounds of flour. She divided the amount she was given by three. Then she added four more pounds to one of these portions.
Jessica was given the largest portion. If Jessica received 8 pounds of flour, how many pounds of flour did Casey begin with?
Do you know how to solve this problem? To figure it out, you will need to write and solve a twostep equation. Pay attention to this Concept and you will know how to solve it by the end of the Concept.
Guidance
You are going to learn how to solve twostep equations. Let’s begin.
To solve a twostep equation, we will need to use more than one inverse operation. Let's take a look at how to solve a twostep equation now. When we perform inverse operations to find the value of a variable, we work to get the variable alone on one side of the equals. This is called isolating the variable. It is one strategy for solving equations. You can use isolating the variable whether you are solving onestep or twostep equations.
Solve for
Notice that there are two terms on the left side of the equation, 5 and
Our first step should be to use inverse operations to get the term that includes a variable,
In the equation, 5 is added to
Now, the term that includes a variable,
We can now use inverse operations to get the
The number 4, or
The work above shows how multiplying each side of the equation by 4 isolates the variable.
Because 4 is the multiplicative inverse, or reciprocal, of
The answer is that
Let’s review our steps to solving this twostep equation.
Take a few minutes to write these steps in your notebook.
Example A
Solution:
Example B
Solution:
Example C
Solution:
Now let's go back to the dilemma from the beginning of the Concept.
Think about what we know. We know that Casey divided the pounds of flour by three, but we don't know how many pounds she started with, so this our variable.
Next, we know that Casey added four pounds to one of the portions.
Jessica ended up with 8 pounds.
Now we can solve the equation. Start by subtracting four from both sides of the equation.
Next we use the inverse of division, multiplication, and multiply three times four.
Casey started with twelve pounds of flour.
Vocabulary
 Equation
 a mathematical statement with an equal sign where the quantity on one side of the equation is equal to the quantity on the other side.
 Variable
 a letter used to represent an unknown quantity.
 Algebraic Equation
 An equation with at least one variable in it.
 OneStep Equation
 An algebraic equation with one operation in it.
 TwoStep Equation
 An algebraic equation with two operations in it.
Guided Practice
Here is one for you to try on your own.
Solution
First, we have to subtract 6 from each side of the equation.
Now we can multiply 19 times 4. This will give us the value of
This is our solution.
Video Review
Practice
Directions: Solve the following twostep equations that have addition and division in them.

x3+4=8 
x5+8=10 
a6+7=13 
a9+4=30 
b8+6=15 
c12+9=18 
x7+7=21 
x11+5=12 
x12+9=16 
a14+6=8 
x22+9=12 
y2+14=18 
x7+24=38  \begin{align*}\frac{x}{8} + 15 = 30\end{align*}
 \begin{align*}\frac{x}{9} + 11 = 28\end{align*}