You are here: Order of Operations

The purpose of this module is to provide in-depth coverage of the "order of operations" concept for developmental math students. It will provide activities for both in-class lessons and individual work. All problems contain only whole numbers so that students can concentrate only on the rules of order of operations. The materials can be used in any developmental math course.
This particular topic is of importance in any mathematical calculation requiring more than one arithmetic operation. It is one of the most pervasive algebra concepts applied in business and the sciences. It is necessary for the correct application of formulas. Effective instruction of this topic is crucial since failure to master this topic hinders performance throughout mathematics studies.
Teaching and Learning Methodology
Order of operations is a topic that many classroom teachers and text books treat as relatively minor. It is introduced early in the course with little or no emphasis later in the course, even at the lower levels. Allocating more time and energy to this topic should make subsequent work easier for students and instructors.
The traditional introduction and subsequent of this topic is through presentation of the rules and examples of application of the rules. There has also arisen a pervasive application of the mnemonic "Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally." Though this is a useful device it presents several traps for students if the instructor is not very careful when giving instruction. This module will present an alternative method for introduction, activities for reinforcement, and assessment tools.
Instructors in workforce, business or science classes where formula manipulation is needed may find some of these activities useful as a review for students.