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The fifth and final step of the problem solving process is to use the result you’ve obtained to solve other problems. Because we’re talking about solving real world problems here—not just textbook problems.
Slow down and take a minute to think about your result.
The fourth step in the problem solving process is closely related to the first.
Combining the two equations we came up with in our English-to-equation-translation, we get just such an equation: N_toys = ( W_total – W_towels ) / W_toy We can now turn this abstract solution (abstract in the sense of being written in terms of a bunch of variables) into a numerical solution simply by plugging in numerical values for all the variables on the right side of the equals sign.
I should say that plugging in values isn't always necessary.
The difference between these two weights must be equal to the combined weight of all the dog toys, W_toys: But we don’t actually want to know the weight of the toys, we want to know the number of toys. Well, if we know the total weight of all the toys, W_toys, and we divide that by the weight of a single toy, W_toy (assuming they're all the same weight), we get the total number of toys, Ntoys: But how did we know the values of W_towels and W_toy?
We must have been clever enough to measure them and write them down before we put the towels on our scale. The third step in solving our word problem—or any word problem—is to solve for the variable you’re interested in.The good news is that doing so is usually easier because you already have a solution to build upon.And those are all of the steps you should go through when solving real world math problems.Today, I'm going to tell you about my simple 5-step method that will help you solve all your math problems—including those pesky word problems. Your cat, on the other hand, does not love your dog and therefore finds it amusing to hide his toys.In particular, we're going to talk about how to turn a word problem into an algebraic equation and then solve it.. Being quite clever, you suspect that the cat is the culprit, so you begin to monitor his favorite hiding spot: the pile of towels next to his bed.Of course, once you get good, you won't actually think about doing each step—they'll just happen.But while you're learning, it's best to be deliberate about things and to actually think your way through each step.In our problem, we should ask ourselves: Can we actually build something that will discern the numer of hidden dog toys?Sure, all we need to do is put the cat's pile of towels on a smart scale that sends its weight to your computer.If the phrase "word problem" sends a shiver down your spine, you're not alone.A lot of people have trouble with so-called word problems in math.