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Math for Kids23 chapters | 325 lessons

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Lesson Transcript

Instructor:
*Heather Jenkins*

Heather has a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in special education. She was a public school teacher and administrator for 11 years.

How many marbles are in the bag? How much money is in the piggy bank? These questions, and other similar questions typically asked in math, have to do with quantity. In this lesson, you will learn about what the word quantity means.

Let's say that your history teacher just assigned you to read 55 pages in your textbook tonight. As you watch everyone else go outside to play, you open your book and scream out, *This quantity of reading is just too much!* Well, maybe you didn't say exactly that, but you probably did feel like the quantity of reading was too much for one night of homework.

A **quantity** is an amount, number, or measurement. It answers the question 'how much?'. Quantities can be described using numbers, like 55 pages of reading. These numbers can be expressed as whole numbers, fractions, decimals, percentages, and units of measurement such as time, money, length, and weight.

Additionally, quantities can be expressed in non-standard units. **Non-standard units** compare a quantity to another object. For example, you could say that the quantity of pasta or rice in a bowl is two handfuls. This compares the quantity of pasta or rice to how much could fit in two hands. However, you may not want to play with your food like that at the table!

In more advanced math, quantity is sometimes used to describe an unknown amount. For example, someone may say, *'y* equals the quantity of *x* minus 4 plus 3' to describe the equation *y* = (*x* - 4) + 3. Quantity is used to describe the amount in the parentheses because the value of *x* - 4 will change depending on what number is put in for *x*. However, it will still be a number, or quantity, that is then added to 3.

To better understand what quantity means, let's look at a few more examples.

First, if you wanted to make your grandmother's famous egg salad sandwiches, you would need to know the quantity of (or how many) eggs it takes to make her recipe. How could you express the quantity of eggs needed? The quantity of eggs needed could be expressed as a number, such as six eggs, or a non-standard unit, such as half-carton of eggs.

Second, if you were building a fence around your tree house, you might need to know the quantity of (or how many) feet of chain-link fencing is needed. How could you express the quantity of chain-link needed? The quantity of chain-link fencing needed could be expressed as a number, such as 32 feet, or a non-standard unit, such as 10 arm lengths.

Third, if you were solving the equation *y* = (*x* + 3) - 12, you would want to figure out what the quantity of *x* + 3 is before subtracting 12 from it.

A **quantity** is an amount, number, or measurement that answers the question 'how much?' Quantities can be expressed in numbers or **non-standard units**. In more advanced math, quantity can also refer to an unknown amount in an equation.

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Math for Kids23 chapters | 325 lessons

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