## Introduction to Algebra

Many people are often intimidated by Algebra because they find it confusing and overwhelming. This is simply not true! Really solving algebraic problems is like solving puzzles. Sometimes the problems are simple and other times they are complex. The key is to solving equations is to think about a balance scale.

All equations are perfectly balanced. In the picture above we see that 4 +1 is on the left side of the balance and 5 is on the right side. Notice the scale is perfectly balanced.

When scolving equations, remember the scale is ALWAYS balanced.

When scolving equations, remember the scale is ALWAYS balanced.

What is the value of the pawn?

**Here's a puzzle...**What is the value of the pawn?

OK, the answer is 6, right? Because

**−****2****=4**

OK, the answer is 6, right? Because

**6 − 2 = 4**. Easy stuff. Well, in Algebra we don't use blank boxes, we use a**letter**(usually an x or y, but any letter is fine). So we write:*x***−****2****=**