# Order of Operations

Last week we did some work in Maths about BODMAS. The grade six Maths curriculum focuses on exploring the use of brackets and the order of operations to solve equations.

When you have an equation like 10 – 3 x 2 which part of this do you solve first? Do you work out 10 – 3 first and then multiply the answer by 3 or do you work out 3 x 2 and subtract the answer from 10? The order of operations helps to make this decision easy.

We created a diagram to help us remember the order in which we need to solve equations that contain more than one operator. First come brackets. Next is orders. Orders are exponents such as powers and roots. Next come division and multiplication. They rank equally so in our diagram we sat them side by side with an arrow to remind us that we go left to right. Last comes addition and subtraction. They also rank equally and left to right is important.

We used our new knowledge about brackets and order of operations to have a go at maths challenge where we were able to use only four 4’s, brackets and the operators + – x ÷ to create equations with as many different answers as we could. We also found a great game to play that helped us practise using our order of operations knowledge.

## Read 3 comments

1. Yes I can and it’s hard for people not good at maths

2. G’day 5/6,
I always used the 4 4’s challenge when doing order of operations with my class. We used to have a huge 1-100 grid on the wall and as someone found an answer, it would be checked by another student and then added to the grid.

I think there were only 2 numbers out of the 100 we couldn’t work out.

• Thanks for your comment, Sue.

We did enjoy using the 4 4’s challenge to show our understanding of the order of operations. A grid on the wall would be a great way to track the answers to this challenge.

Mrs S and 5/6 CS