
Re: Order of operations (fwd)
Posted:
May 13, 1995 6:50 PM


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, > reallife' 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 dollarsyou better follow the established order of operations. My 2 cents.

