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Writing an Equation to Describe Pictures - Concept 10,108 views

Teacher/Instructor Alissa Fong
Alissa Fong

MA, Stanford University
Teaching in the San Francisco Bay Area

Alissa is currently a teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area and Brightstorm users love her clear, concise explanations of tough concepts

If a student learns about writing an equation to describe a picture or a pattern, it will help him or her understand how graphs and equations work and how they apply to the real world. Writing an equation requires students to understand how to interpret graphs, and it helps to understand functions, function notation and how to connect graphs , tables and equations.

A really important skill to have in math is being able to recognize and describe patterns. Sometimes patterns are given to you in numbers and that's something that you work on with your algebra skills. Sometimes patterns are given to you just with pictures and you guys can write an equation to describe a pattern of pictures without even knowing any fancy schmancy algebra. So that's the thing I want you to be practicing.
One thing you want to look for when you're given a set of pictures is which piece of the picture stays the same all the time and then which piece of the picture is changing. If you can keep those things straight in your head, you'll be able to figure out how to write an equation to describe the number of boxes or triangles or how to describe the changing patterns that's given to you in a picture.