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Order of Operations: The Elevated Math Approach

§ March 19th, 2012 Comments Off§ Filed under From the Elevated Math Team, Math, Teaching Math § Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Someone posted this on a Facebook page yesterday:


2 + 2 x 2 + 2 x 2 – 2 x 2 =

a.     6

b.     16

c.     40

And I was shocked to see that so many people got the wrong answer.

Knowing the Order of Operations is important for a student’s success in math – so important that we included two lessons in the Elevated Math iPad app dealing exclusively with this subject.

If you are absolutely sure of the right answer, don’t bother watching the following videos. BUT if not… or if you want a peek at how Elevated Math teaches the Order of Operations, take a look at the following two videos.

The first one shows a section of the lesson in Numbers and Operations (M1.1) where we introduce the word PEMDAS to help students remember the mathematical order. Although understanding a concept is far more important than memorizing rules, we felt that students and teachers would appreciate having something to remember.

(a section of the Elevated Math iPad app lesson, “Order of Operations” with the autopauses removed)

Next, in A1.5 of the “Getting Ready for Algebra” module, we explain the Order of Operations again, but this time the stress is placed not on the rules but on the application. Here is how we explain the use of grouping symbols.

(a section of the Elevated Math iPad app lesson, “Applying the Order of Operations” with the autopauses removed)

Now, in case you’re still stumped by the question above and don’t want to spend the $1.99 for one of these lessons, we’ve kindly given you the answer:

2 + 2 x 2 + 2 x 2 – 2 x 2 =

2 + 4 + 4 – 4 =

6 + 4 – 4 =

10 – 4 =



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