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Topic: Order of operations (fwd)
Replies: 12   Last Post: May 15, 1995 11:58 PM

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Ken Blystone

Posts: 15
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: Order of operations (fwd)
Posted: May 13, 1995 6:50 PM
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On Sat, 13 May 1995, Sandra Pratt wrote:

> Here's a question that a student asked that has prompted an interesting
> discussion among our math teachers. He said, "Can you give me an 'everyday,
> real-life' example of where I would need to use the 'order of operations'
> that you're teaching us?" (Parenthese, exponents, mult/div, add/sub.)The
> teacher was stumped! Y'know what? So am _I_! I'm having a hard time coming up
> with a practical rationale for teaching/using the order of operations. Can
> some of you help?

I strongly recommend the proper order of operations when getting dressed.
I think it is usually a good idea to put my underware on before my pants.
Then I put on my socks, then my pants, and then my shoes. The order of
operation for getting dressed is important if you don't want to look
foolish or feel uncomfortable.

As for the order of operations in math, I'd remind kids that when building
bridges, launching space shuttles, or balancing a bank budget, most places
use computers these days and computers are very picky about the order in
which operations are done. Assuming that you don't want the bridge to
collapse, the space shuttle to fall in the ocean, or the bank budget to be
off by millions of dollars--you better follow the established order of

My 2 cents.

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