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Hands-On Algebra with Fractions and Mixed Numbers When you hear the word “algebra”, what do you think of? What are some things you know about algebra? How might you use algebra in real-life? Think of a time when you have used algebra. Why was this important? (Money, “how much more do I need to have a certain amount?”, etc.) What is an equation? An equation is a number sentence that contains an equal sign. Example of an equation: x+ ½ = 1 What is a variable? A variable is a letter or other symbol that represents an unknown number in an equation. Example of a variable: x + ½ = 1 We do not yet know what the value of “x” is, so “x” is the variable. In Hands-On Equations, the blue pawns represent the variable in your equation. Yellow “Balance” board Each side of your balance is equal to the other! Your goal is to have only pawns on one side, and only numbers/fractions on the other. Let’s make a balance. How can I keep it in balance? What can I do to make it balanced? Blue Pawns “x” The blue pawns represent your variables. All your blue pawns have the same value in each equation, it’s your job to find the value! Red Number Cubes The red cubes represent your whole numbers. Fraction Squares The fraction squares represent your fractions. Solve for x without using a calculator. x + ½ = 7/8 x = _____ Chk: _____ = _____ Think- What does “x” have to be equal to in order for the sum of the addition problem to be 7/8? We will now work through problems 1-10 on your Hands-On Guided Practice page. X + 2/5 = 1 x = _____ Chk: _____ = _____ 4x + 1/6 = 4 1/6 x = ______ Chk: _____ = _____ With your partner, make up some hands-on equations yourself. You will have to test out some different ways! Be sure to check your equations for correctness and create a separate answer key for your equations.