Reflection: Relevance Strength of Operations - Section 4: Now You Try It


I usually us the PEMDAS pizzas as an organization tool to help students track the terms as they simplify an expression.  Most of the time, students like this strategy and adopt it quickly.  One student, who likes to be challenged with higher level questions, was using mental math and a series of "notes" to solve each component of the expression.  He was getting the correct answer, but not using a consistent strategy for organization.

I explained the reasoning behind the Pizza approach by showing him that an expression is just one part of an equation.  Sometimes, both sides of the = need simplifying.  I demonstrated how his small notes and many short equations with the equal sign may work for him now, but have the potential for causing confusion latter.   That is why mathematicians simplify expressions by moving downward.  

He readjusted his approach when he understood the reasoning behind this strategy.  I will explain the reasoning to all my students now.

  Looking ahead
  Relevance: Looking ahead
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Strength of Operations

Unit 1: Numerical Expressions and Patterns
Lesson 4 of 13

Objective: SWBAT solve simple expressions using the proper order of operations.

Big Idea: Different operations have different strengths

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  52 minutes
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