Wednesday, December 07, 2005

East Side rules

As promised, this is how to solve a multi-step linear equation by activating our prior knowledge about street gangs.

3x + 2 = 14

Okay, there's a west side and an east side. Since we live on the east side, we'll say that's the "good side." The east side is to the right of the equals sign; 14 in the example above.

Now the west side is like the "bad side" because it has the scary gang member, ahem, I mean variable. In this case, the west side is "3x + 2." We've got to figure out how to rescue all the people from the west side without messing with the bad guy. So we want to get rid of the three AND we want to get rid of the 2, that way we can rescue them and leave the bad guy all alone.

So who's going to be easier to rescue? The person who lives far away from the bad guy and no one will notice if he leaves (the 2)? Or the girlfriend of the bad guy who is really close to him (the 3)? You guessed it, the person far away is easier to rescue first.

The opposite of +2 is -2, so write that down.

3x + 2 - 2

But just like you have to balance on a skateboard so you don't fall down, you better balance your equations, too. Add that -2 on the other side of the equation.

3x + 2 - 2 = 14 - 2

Simplify down to:
3x = 12

Now comes the tough part. We have to save the bad guy's girlfriend and get her over to the east side. Since she's a little more difficult, we can't just add or subtract. Do the opposite and divide by 3. Both sides--don't fall off your skateboard!
3x/3 = 12/3

x = 4

Perfect. The east side comes up with the answer.


Blogger Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

You're so down with it.

3:57 AM  
Blogger mal said...

thats one tough neighborhood you teach in

5:45 AM  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

You think that's a tough neighborhood? My neighborhood was so tough, the thugs inserted the bullets manually.


1:04 PM  
Blogger James said...

Nice. Or should I say...pimpin'

2:52 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Ha. You should see how not down with I am. Coming out of my mouth, the word "gangster" has a very pronounced r.

7:15 PM  

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