# Re: Word problem

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Posted by MathBard on October 27, 2002 at 01:26:08:

In Reply to: Re: Word problem posted by T.Gracken on October 26, 2002 at 21:11:06:

: : Hello,

: : I am studying for my math quiz on Monday. I am stuck on how to set this up. I can do the equation once it is set up. Here it is:

: : The sides of a quadrilateral are 1/3, 1/4, and 3/8 as long as the bottom. The perimeter is 141cm long. How long is each side? How long is the bottom?

: : Thank you,
: : Heather
allow me to translate what Mr. G did...
: suppose you let the letter b represent the length of the bottom.
MOST of the time the last question the story asks is what you should let your variable represent the astute Mr. G assigns "B" to be the bottom...
: then the other sides are (1/3)b, (1/4)b, and (3/8)b
He then finds out what math he can do to 'b' to represent the other sides. WHENEVER POSSIBLE keep ONE variable!
: now, add up all the sides and solve for b.
Mr. G knows the formula for finding the perimeter of a quadrilateral: add up the four sides. Perimeter should not be confused with area. peRIMeter helps you remeber it means the langth of the EDGE.
the key to finding a solution is to find two things in the problem that can equal one another. The four sides added togeter is 141 cm so...
141=b+(1/3)b+(1/4)b+(3/8)b vo'ila it is no longer a story problem.
However, it does have fractions. and for SOME unexplained reason 5 out of every 4 of my students struggle with fractions. I am yet to figure out why!! any help?
MB

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