PEMDAS | Does Order Really Matter?

How do you get your students to realize that when solving an expression, order matters? How do you get your students to understand why PEMDAS is important?

Introduction with interactive story:

“Football season was coming. Being a son of a football coach, you could count on Brandon being on and off the football field. Today was no different. Brandon was given the task to organize the many footballs the football players used for practice.”

“He stored 7 footballs in the storage closet, followed by 2 piles of 6 footballs in the locker room closet. Brandon proudly told his dad that he was hard at work. His dad asked, “How many footballs have you stored?”

Question #1: Write an expression to best represent this
7 + 2 x 6
Seven footballs in the storage closet + 2 equal groups of 6 footballs in the locker room closet.

Question #2: Evaluate the expression
This is where you will see students get different answers!!!!!
54 footballs VS 19 footballs

Question #3: Can you draw a picture to represent this?
The picture is SO POWERFUL!
This is a great way to talk about WHY the order matters.

The correct picture shows two closets. In the storage closet there are 7 footballs. In the locker room closet there should be two piles with 6 footballs in each. So basically students HAVE to do 2×6 = 12 footballs in the locker room closet. AND THEN add the 7 footballs in the storage closet to get a total of 19 footballs. 🙂

click here to get notes

Go over the steps of PEMDAS with student notes.

After going over PEMDAS, the students need ample time to practice. I have found that organization is key when solving expressions. Make students write out each step. Make
it fun by allowing students to color code their steps! This will help you and your students see where mistakes are happening!





6 Comment

  1. Lynsey says: Reply

    Got it! Thanks a lot again for heniplg me out!

  2. We just added a back porch and painted the ceiling blue- love it! Whatever you all pick will look great, you all have great taste!! Enjoy the process!!

  3. I apologize for my late reply. I’m in the middle of house moving, so my world is a bit chaotic at the moment, and probably until the beginning of March… I took an MM car to my local railway hobby supplier and compared it to H0 scale (1:87, miniatures too big) and to N scale (1:160, miniatures too small). But I found some kids in H0 scale which look good beside the MM cars.I actually have a crappy photo with the miniatures posing around the cars:Perhaps TT gauge or 15mm would work, however this is unconfirmed.

  4. Yes sir! I had never seen 95% of the content on that DVD set before and it was really affordable here.I didn’t buy all the two disc editions because in some cases I collected all the singles and Japanese imports! I’d like to do Bruce’s solo career in detail I think.

  5. Yes yes, Love the name! Just J is perfect- you know when it feels right:)I often ponder changing mine…since thirtysomethingfashion seems SO specific to ..well….thirtysomethings..BUT it is catchy and it is TRUE to my life right now….maybe I will change it on 9 years when I am fortysomething!You look beautiful as always…love the simplicity of the outift!C

  6. #54 DarrenThat guy in the tornado-destroyed home had insurance. So why was he asking for a gubmint handout? I am very sympathetic to these disaster victims, but you need to take care of yourself when you can, don’t think “Uncle Sugar” first thing after the wind dies down.FEMA is a gubmint agency, how can we expect them to get it right every time? They probably just mixed up the paperwork. A house that is down to the slab + rubble is clearly not one that even an incompetent gubmint toad would intentionally declare inhabitable.

Leave a Reply