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Topic: Order of Operations (BOMDAS)


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Subject:   RE: BOMDAS and PEMDAS
Author: 3
Date: Mar 30 2007
I can appreciate your concern, however, don't you think the assumption about all
girls and malls is slightly offensive to some young ladies that we are trying to
push in mathematics?  Furthermore, at the middle school level we need all the
devices we can get to help them remember.  PEMDAS can work as long as we remind
students that it is just a tool and  I always remind them that MD go together
and AS.  It is important that they realize that whatever comes first from left
to right (like reading)is what you perform.   If division comes before
multiplication then that comes first. Apparently on www.rainforestmaths.com
 they use BEMDAS for brackets (or maybe boys enjoy the mall) and offer a
colorful way of reviewing. To impress the importance, I like to make up a
fictitious life or death story that depends on something my students are
interested in and make them think it depends on one number.  I set them to work
on an expression without a calculator and see what they get.  When the class is
different and everyone can explain their answer, we realize that we need some
continuity or lives could be at stake.  I have used situations about grades,
bridge measurements etc.  I'm also not sure what might be on the web already as
a simulation.  Good Luck and Thanks.

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