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.
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.
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.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.For example, we don’t actually have numerical values to use in our problem.Which makes sense since our equation was only intended to be used to tell our computer how to convert from total weight to total number of dog toys—we weren’t actually looking for a specific answer to a specific problem.This step will often entail going through the procedure outlined in the How to Solve an Equation episode.Our goal is to solve for the total number of dog toys on the scale, N_toys.The most important thing to do when faced with a problem like this is to stop working on it.Honestly, it sounds paradoxical, but the biggest mistake people make when solving problems is trying to solve them too soon. Make sure you understand exactly what the question is asking and make sure you understand exactly what you are trying to solve for.But (perhaps being a little too clever for your own good) instead of constantly checking this spot, you decide that you'd like to rig up an ingenious system to automatically report to you exactly how many toys are missing.The biggest mistake people make when solving problems is trying to solve them too soon.