Mathematics Order of Operations

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Mathematics Order of Operations

Postby h070069 » Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:06 pm

I have a question about how "Order of Operations" is being taught in schools at present.

Having been a private tutor for the past 5 years, I consider myself quite familiar with most of the Mathematics methods available. However, I was rather surprised when I encountered a student who did "Order of Operations" problems via this method:

Image

(Please excuse whether he got the correct answer or not, that was not my main concern.)

What disturbed me was the way he worked out the problem: breaking up everything and writing them separately. Is this an acceptable method? According to this student, his Mathematics teacher in school is telling his entire class to do "Order of Operations" via this method, if they want to pass their exams. In my years of tutoring, I have always taught the usual method of working out the problem as a whole like this:

45 - 13 + 24 - 120 ÷ 8
= 45 - 13 + 24 - 15
= 32 + 24 - 15
= 56 - 15
= 41

I would appreciate any feedback regarding this, so that I can let the parents know if the child is learning the correct stuff in school. Thanks!

h070069
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Re: Mathematics Order of Operations

Postby blessed777 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:11 pm

In lower primary, schools do not allow students to use other Math method except for the method that being taught at class as for this stage children need to learn well those methods. As for the upper primary kids they are free to use any correct method, my kid never got penalized for using any method she wants to. I believe that mastering more method is better in learning math.

My kid did the same way as yr student in solving such problem, I assume that's how they being taught at class & I believe both ways are acceptable. I see that the way yr student did is easier for the children to understand, preventing confusion and careless mistake and also could earn more points during exam ? (by breaking down it will obviously shows which step is correct & which is wrong hence can earn some points for the correct step, see yr student working on Q18 out of 4 there is one correct operation). As for the method that you use to teach, it is more suitable for the kids who already good in doing order of operations (imho).

hth

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Re: Mathematics Order of Operations

Postby h070069 » Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:41 pm

But "Order of Operations" is only being taught at P5 level. Also, we should remember that in P6, Algebra will be coming into play as well. Which means that instead of:

45 - 13 + 24 - 120 ÷ 8

we might well get:

45 - 13x + 24 - 12x

Surely we can't use the "break everything up" method for this? I believe that a good foundation is very important when it comes to learning Mathematics. "Order of Operations" as a topic is going to play a vital role not just in P6 level, but in secondary level as well. Not to mention that it will be used most often in problems involving algebra. So shouldn't it be more important to make sure that the child understands why the method is being done, rather than which method makes it easier for them to arrive at a solution (but without proper understanding)?

h070069
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Re: Mathematics Order of Operations

Postby buds » Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:56 pm

Someone shared the BODMAS rule here at this link.

http://www.kiasuparents.com/kiasu/forum ... 79#p729079

buds
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