Don’t Let Your Students Make This Common Mistake with PEMDAS

common mistake PEMDAS order of operations

Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally is a great way to help students remember the order of operations.

However, it has one big flaw. A flaw that, if we're not careful, can result in quite a few mistakes - and a whole mess of confusion & frustrated students.

The good news is that all the confusion can be easily avoided with a simple explanation, which we explain in this video:

The confusion comes when students assume that since M comes before D in PEMDAS, then multiplication must come before division in order of operations (same thing with addition and subtraction).

To combat this, we must emphasize to them that multiplication & division go together in the same step. So do addition & subtraction.

With this simple tweak, our students should be able to use PEMDAS to remember the order of operations without any problems!

p.s. We have a great FREE order of operations activity for you to try out with your students!

It's a group activity where students first use order of operations to solve problems individually. Those answers reveal clues to the group's logic puzzle which they then work together to solve. 

Download your FREE Order of Operations Logic Puzzle Activity

The Question Great Math Teachers Ask

great math teachers ask this question

Do you ever feel stuck as a math teacher? Not quite sure how to get your students to understand a certain concept or frustrated about various classroom issues?

In this video, we share a simple question that can help reframe all of these challenges and put you on the path toward workable solutions - solutions that will benefit both you & your students!

Because we all know that our greatest goal is to see our students succeed - and asking this simple question will help you do just that.

Check it out here:

p.s. Have you tried out our FREE bell ringers yet? Grab them here:

5 Reasons to ❤️ Video Math Lessons

Video lessons can not only make your life as a teacher so much easier - they can also be a tremendous help to your students.

Check out this quick 30-second video to discover five simple ways video lessons can make your math class even more amazing:


The best news? Right now you can try out some of our best videos for FREE!

Click here to get FREE pre-algebra video lessons.

You can also grab individual video lessons with accompanying guided notes OR save even more money with our unit bundles.

Click here to grab individual video lessons or unit bundles.

video lessons with notes for pre-algebra and Algebra 1

How to Teach the LCM So Your Students Hardly Miss it Again

How to teach the LCM so your students hardly miss it again

Students can easily get confused when trying to find the LCM (aka the least common multiple). Add in variables and ask them to find the least common denominator of complicated fractions, and you've got a recipe for disaster.

Unless, that is - you use this simple method to teach LCM.

My students rarely miss LCM problems anymore (or GCF for that matter). And I'm betting your won't either.

Check it out here:

p.s. Our pre-algebra LCM lesson teaches students to find the LCM using this exact method. Grab the individual LCM lesson here. Or save money with the complete Factors & Exponents unit.

This Simple Chart Makes Finding the GCF a Cinch

Ever wish you could snap your fingers and your students would automatically understand the concept you're teaching?

Well, I don't know about snapping your fingers, but if you use this simple chart, your students are sure more likely to understand how to find the GCF.

Of course, the magic is in the details. So check it all out here:

p.s. If you're loving MathLight, check out our full pre-algebra & Algebra 1 curriculums. Ask your administrator if you can use school funds - they're a phenomenal deal!

6 Compelling Reasons to Give Your Math Students Notes

6 reasons you should give math students a class notes template

When your math students have their own set of notes, they have something to look back on to help them remember how to solve problems. 

But that's not the only reason to use notes! Check out this video to discover 6 compelling reasons why your students should be taking notes:

p.s. You're probably thinking right now that this would take FOREVER to create. But good news - We provide notes templates for every lesson in our MathLight curriculum.

math notes for pre algebra

A Simple Habit to Prevent Ridiculous Answers

a simple way to prevent your math students from giving ridiculous answers

As math teachers, we're always looking for ways to help our students notice errors and solve more problems correctly (pretty obvious, right?)

Well, what's not always obvious to our students is that they sometimes give ridiculous answers.

Say, for example, the problem asked them to figure out how quickly Elliot ran the marathon. They run the numbers and come up with their solution: 825mph.  


If they'd just stop and think for a minute, there is no human possibility that Elliot ran at a rate of 825mph. I mean, unless he's secretly Superman or something.

So how do we get our students to stop & think about their answers? The simple acronym DMAMS can help you do just that.

We explain it here:

p.s. Speaking of math making sense, that's our whole goal at MathLight - to make math easier for students to understand (and, not so incidentally, easier for you to teach, too!)

Throughout our video lessons, we use tried & true teaching techniques like DMAMS to help students better understand math.

You can use the videos in a variety of ways - to flip your class, catch up absent students, provide support for struggling students, supplement (or replace) your own lectures, and more!

All of our pre-algebra videos are FREE for a limited time. You can grab them here:

Get MathLight Pre-Algebra videos FREE

Or, check out our Algebra 1 videos and units

mathlight pre algebra videos

Emphasize This Detail to Reduce Errors When Teaching Evaluating Expressions

the key detail to emphasize when evaluating expressions

Do your students keep making mistakes when evaluating expressions? 

Chances are, the negatives and exponents are throwing them off.

However, if you emphasize this certain detail, you'll help your students eliminate errors and evaluate more expressions correctly.

Check it out here:

p.s. Are you using our guided student notes? They not only ensure your students engage with (and actually watch) the videos, but they're also a valuable study tool.

Guided student notes are included in all our units as well as the individual student lessons

Find out more about the guided student notes

math notes for pre algebra

4 Compelling Reasons to Flip Your Math Class

4 compelling reasons to flip your math class

Have you thought about flipping your math class but aren't quite sure how it would work - or if it's worth the effort?

In this video, you'll discover four compelling reasons to flip your math class - and some tips for how to do it well.

Now that you're excited to try flipping your class, check out this post for specific advice from Rick about how exactly to do that:

How to Flip Your Class (Your Biggest Questions Answered)

how to flip your class

We've also got the perfect tools to help you flip your math class - whether you want to try just a few times or flip every day. 

Our video lessons with guided notes will let you flip your class right away - without having to record your own videos. Plus, the guided notes ensure students actually watch the videos - and come away having learned the concepts.

The Perfect Illustration to Explain Division with Zero

the perfect illustration to explain division with zero

Ever struggle to explain to your students why 0 divided by anything is 0 but anything divided by 0 is undefined or infinity?

In this video, you'll learn the perfect illustration to explain both of these concepts in a way your students will easily understand.

Check it out here:

And speaking of making math easy to understand, have you seen our video lessons with guided notes?

Each lesson contains a video that teaches the concept as well as notes for the students to fill out & practice problems along with the video. Of course, the answer key is also included.

These are perfect for so many situations

  • When you need quick sub plans
  • If you want to try flipping your class
  • If you're struggling to explain a concept
  • When you need to give your voice (or yourself) a rest - without wasting the class period
  • For students who need extra help
  • Math centers
  • And so much more

The sky really is the limit!

Check out the individual video lessons with notes.

And use the search box to search for specific topics.