The first trick in problems like this is to figure out what we want to know.
This will help us decide what variables (unknowns) to use.
Since we have 2 types of coins, let's call the number of nickels x and the number of dimes y.
We are given two key pieces of information to make our equations: the number of coins and their value.
With this method, you are essentially simplifying one equation and incorporating it into the other, which allows you to eliminate one of the unknown variables.
Note that we solve Algebra Word Problems without Systems here, and we solve systems using matrices in the Matrices and Solving Systems with Matrices section here.
Or you might be considering two different phone contracts. The second company, Sellnet, charges per month, but calls cost only 8 cents per minute. You should see that Anne's choice will depend upon how many minutes of calls she expects to use each month.
We start by writing two equations for the cost in dollars in terms of the minutes used.
Students need to use a pronumeral to represent the unknown number They then need to write an equation and solve it to find the value of the unknown number.
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