Discussion:  All Topics 
Topic:  Order of Operations (BOMDAS) 
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Subject:  RE: BOMDAS and PEMDAS 
Author:  markovchaney 
Date:  Mar 29 2007 
I fully concur: like all too many mnemonics in K12 math, this one causes more
problems than it solves.
While order of ops is a convention, it is a LOGICAL convention. Playing with
calculators or, better yet, computer programming and interactive languages that
are interpreted immediately upon pressing "ENTER" should provide more than
adequate practice for kids, and they should start to see that there's a clear
hierarchy. If they were taught to see that exponentiation is a higher order
operation because it's repeated multiplication, and that multiplication is
higher than addition for the same reason, and that roots are the same level as
exponents, division is the same level as multiplication, and subtraction is the
same level as addition, there isn't a lot to memorize. Grouping symbols are the
only way to "overwrite" the normal order. That's OOPs in a nutshell.
On Mar 29 2007, db wrote:
> Oh Golly guys, please, please stop using Please Excuse My Dear Aunt
> Sally.
When I get these kids in high school math, I need to
> update the "parentheses" to grouping symbols. My lower level
> learners have a hard time expanding the idea of parentheses to
> include symbols that look nothing like them. Grouping symbols such
> as square roots and absolute value create double duty for my
> teaching when excluded from other grouping symbols like,
> "parentheses."
I try to reteach PEMDAS to GEMDAS: Girls Enjoy
> Mall Discounts And Sales. Please!??
db
 
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