*The Identity Property describes numbers that can be added or multiplied to other numbers without changing the values of those numbers.*

If you can compare formulas or terms or shapes to problems you've solved before, it's a good bet that the strategy you used to solve them last time will help again now.: A big complicated problem is often just several small and simple questions stuck together.

See if there are pieces you can pull out to work on separately.

The arrangement of numbers and variables in algebraic expressions works like that too.

Some situations allow us to switch values and operations around.

And if we all go through the same sequence of operations when we solve or simplify an equation, we should all end up with the same answer.

Algebra problems are easier to understand and to solve when you establish a strategy for working with them. The same properties of real numbers and the order of operations that worked when you only had numbers to think about also apply to equations with variables. Algebra problems have answers, and you can find them.

Maybe you broke up the problem without realizing it, and this answer will lead to other answers and eventually to the right answer.

Did you get stuck partway through because you didn't have enough information?

A chart, table, or diagram might spark a fresh understanding of the situation.

When you create a visual representation of a problem, you give yourself a whole new way to look for answers.

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