## Order of Operations

I don’t want to get into an argument here about whether or not to use one of the acronyms BIDMAS, BIMDAS, PEDMAS, PEMDAS, etc.

Instead how can we best get students to understand and perform mathematical operations in the correct order? At our Maths KLA meeting tonight, J…., a first year teacher, explained a game/puzzle he had seen. It used Golf for its basic format.

After J….., explained it to the teachers at the meeting, I got to work and produced this worksheet.

This is a great example of the power of teachers sharing ideas.

I will try “Operation Golf” out on my year 7 students tomorrow. I wonder if they can make par?

You can read more on this topic here:  Helping Your Children Understand Order of Operations

I have been teaching Mathematics in Victorian secondary schools for 30 years. I use the www to make my maths lessons better. I hope this blog will give other teachers some ideas to try in their own classes.
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### 4 Responses to Order of Operations

1. Denise says:

I like your golf worksheet! I’ll give it to Kitten this afternoon and see how she does…

2. Chris says:

The game is similar to something I have seen before and it does seem as though it would make practice more fun, but how do we get students to relate to the big ideas here without simply memorizing? The golf worksheet had me anticipating something that related each operation to a certain type of club. On a 300 yard hole, you would use your putter first and finish off with your driver. Similarly, in math we don’t start with addition and finish with exponents. Just my thoughts, but I wonder if this analogy could work…

3. Denise says:

The way I explained it to Kitten (6th grade) was that each number was like one of your clubs, and each time you use it is like a stroke. So you can choose which club (number) you use for each stroke, and your goal is to take as few strokes as possible to hit the target.