Hey, Cynthia!

The very **first** thing to do in this problem is figure out how to "describe" how many markers Dave has!

Let's call Dave's "unknown" number of markers "x".

If Sheila has five **times** the number of markers that Dave has, then Sheila must have "5 **times** x" -- or (another way you could write that would be) "**5x**".

You are now close to solving the problem!

The **last** step to solving this problem is to combine the "**un**knowns" on **one side** of the =, and the "**knowns**" on the other side side, like **this:**

**5x **(those are Sheila's markers) **+ x **(that represents Dave's markers) **= 18**

What's do you get when you combine **5x **and **1x **("x")? Of course: **6x**.

**6x = 18**

I bet you already know what to do now! But in case you're still "stuck"...

---> Now you need to know what **x** is!

Remember the rule for solving this kind of prolem: "What you do to **one** side, do to the **other** side"?

So if you want to **divide** 6x by **6 **to solve for **x**, then you must **also** divide the **other** side by **6**, too! Like **this**:

**6x/6 = 18/6**

Wow! Now that made everything sooo clear:

**6x/6** gives you **x, **and **18/6** gives you **3**.

Finally, the "proof of the pudding is in the **tasting"**! The way to "taste-test" your answers is by "plugging in" your answers to the original problem:

**6x = 18**

**6 (3) =? 18**

**YES! 6 **times **3 ***is* **18!**

p.s. Hope this helps! And btw, you can use these **same** **steps** next time when you get a problems like this one!