Any bees really good with math?

posted 3 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 3
1939 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

ok I’ll give you a little something on this one…use to teach HS chemistry which was a lot of math

so basically we know a few things: (fyi x is the letter x, * is multiply and in is inches and I am just using the () to keep the tops and bottoms together)

tampa to daytona is actually 140 miles

tampa to daytona on the map is 5/8 inch

we need to figure out what 1 inch means

so we always use x to represent the thing that we don’t know so this is just another way of saying that we are trying to find out: 1 in = x miles

and we know that 5/8 in = 140 miles

if we want to figure out what x is then we have to make some equation:

5/8 in * (x miles/ 1 in) = 140 miles

from there we can simplify by taking away the in on the top (with the 5/8) and the in on the bottom because they cancel each other out so now we have

5/8 * x/1 = 140 miles

when we have fractions we multipy the tops and bottoms so this really say

(5 * x) / (8 * 1) = 140 miles 

we can simplify this again because we know anything times 1 is the same

(5 * x)/ 8 = 140 miles

now we have to solve for x. In order to do that we have to get it alone – first lets get rid of the 8. Because we have 8 on the bottom its like dividing so we have to multiply on BOTH sides to get rid of it so

(8 * 5 *x) / 8= 140 miles * 8

so 8 on the top and bottom cancel out and 140 * 8 is 1120

5 * x = 1120 miles

now we have to get rid of the 5… thats a multiply so we have to divide BOTH sides by 5 so

(5 * x )/ 5 = 1120 miles / 5

so 5 is on the top and bottom so that cancels and 1120/5 = 224 so we now know that

x = 224 miles

and in the beginning we said 1 in = x so that means that 1 in = 224 miles












Post # 4
1464 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

I can try and help. I have previously taught middle school aged students in all subjects (including math) and am working toward my MEd with a focus on mathematics education.

In math problems like this, there can be more than one way to work things out. This is how I would:

You know what 5/8 of an inch represents (140 miles)

You want to find a whole inch, which is 8/8 of an inch.

First, find 1/8 of an inch. If 5/8 of an inch represents 140, then 1/8 is 140 divided by 5, which is 28.

so, if 1/8 of an inch represents 28 miles, then one inch is 28 times 8, which is 224 miles.

ETA: I had removed values, but then realised above poster had put them back in, so did as well

Post # 5
9930 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

@farawayviolet:  this is how I would have done it


140/5 = 28

28×8 = 224


Post # 6
5290 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

I suggest you get a live tutor.  Math is hard for some people and having a real life teacher could help.

But because I thought this looked like a fun problem…

In the above question, I believe the answer is 224 miles.  Here is my logic:

It’s a ratio problem.  The map has a ratio of 0.625 inches to 140 miles in real life.  (I got 0.625 because that’s 5/8 expressed as a decimal.)  You know that this ratio will stay constant.

So then you say to yourself, ok, I know the ratio when we’re talking about 0.625 inches…what will the ratio be when we’re talking about 1 inch?  Well, I can multiply 0.625 by some number to make it equal 1 (in algebra this would be expressed as 0.625 * x = 1).  Since it’s a ratio, then all I need to do is multiply 144 by that same number (x) and I’ve got the answer!”

So this breaks down into two equations.  The first is 

0.625 * x = 1.  In words this means “0.625 times what number will make it equal 1?”

If you know your algebra you’ll know how to solve this.  

0.625 *x = 1 –> first isolate the variable

x= 1/0.625  –>then do the simple math

x= 1.6

The next equation goes like this

144*x = the number of miles that 1 inch on the map represents.

In words, this equation means, “Since I multiplied 0.625 by x to get it to equal 1, if I multiply 144 by x, then it will equal the number of miles that 1 inch represents.”

So you use the value you found for x in the equation above and you get:

144 * 1.6 = 224


So the final answer is 224 miles.  I hope that helps!  (And I hope I got it right!)


Post # 7
9412 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

@cbgg:  +1. I think a live tutor would be best. I am about ready to cry and have a panic attack remembering high school math now *shudder*

Post # 8
3219 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

I would be happy to help as well–I think you’ve got some good explanations from PPs above, but do you have more questions?

I used to tutor ladies for the GED, actually, though in another state. I just did some quick research on your options in Kentucky, and here is some info that might be useful to you:

Free classes to prepare eligible Kentuckians to take the five-part test are available at adult education centers in every county.  

Kentuckians can also study online through Kentucky Virtual Adult Education

Post # 9
150 posts
Blushing bee

@allyfally:  PP explained the concept very well. The logic is the key to math. And here’s another way to think – I am trying to describe in a less mathematical way, I’m not sure if it really sounds less mathematicall though.

We know 5/8 inch represents 140 miles and we want to know how much 1 inch represents.

As we know 5/8 inch is 140mi, let’s figure what 5 inch represents to make the problem simpler.

5 inch = 5/8 inch * 8 = 140 * 8 miles = 1120 miles.

Now we want 1 inch

1 inch = 5 inch / 5 = 1120miles / 5 = 224miles.

So 224 miles is the answer, but we had took a detour to get this as we first multiplied by 8 and then divided by 5. If we just multiplied 8/5, which is the inverse of 5/8, we could have simply done

140mi * 8 / 5 = 224 miles.

And this is the same to PP’s last equation, if you put X at 224 and rewrite.

Post # 11
295 posts
Helper bee

@allyfally:  Which one of the above answers makes the most sense to you? And what level of math are you comfortable with? The problem with math problems  like this is that they require you not to just understand how to get an answer, but WHY you got the answer you did. Otherwise when you move on to another word problem with slightly different wording, it may require the same equation but you won’t be able to recognize it. 

I would probably also recommend a tutor, but finding one that really knows how to teach the “why” And less so the “how” can be quite difficult.  Choosing the explanation above that makes the most sense to you will help you with the why. If none of the above answers make sense to you, you probably need to back up a little and relearn the basics of algebra and fractions.

What @farawayviolet:  did is a great, simple way to understand why the answer is 224

Also, there’s no shame in needing to relearn! I got an A+ in calculus back in high school but I couldn’t tell you one single thing about it now because I only use geometry and basic algebra anymore. You only remember what you use, which is probably why you did well in the other sections like reading and writing. 

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