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