OK, this is a little long, but I think you will find it worth it. Here is a basic equation 2x + 4 = 12. This is what I do. All day. For weeks on end. I teach that to solve equations, you have to ask, "What is happening to x?" The answer, in this case, is "X is being multiplied by 2 and 4 is being added. To solve, you do just the opposite. You subtract 4 (from both sides) and divide by 2 (again, from both sides). Inverse Operations we call it. The point is, the answer to the question immediately gives you the steps needed to solve for the variable. Easy, quick, and no thinking involved. So.....today I am working more problems, and to make the point, I cleverly say...."Now girls, you have to answer the SECOND most important question you will EVER have to answer." (I'm thinking, and I am clearly old school, "Will you marry me?" is most important question.) Well, they got it right, the math that is, and then someone asked, "Mr Cox, what exactly is the most important question that girls will ever have to answer?" Wha??? A bunch of hands shoot up, so I call on a guy and he says "Are you pregnant?" I walked out! And you know I can't make this up!