GEMDAS? What ever happened to PEMDAS?

Posted by Keeley Lombardi on 1/6/2016

Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally (PEMDAS--parentheses, exponents, multiplication/division, addition/subtraction) is making way for a new mnenomic--GEMDAS.  Why the change?  Well, practically speaking, when learning Order of Operations it is not only parentheses students have to worry about when they are evaluating expressions.  Brackets [  ], and braces {  }, must also be acknowledged--especially as students move closer to Middle School and Algebra.  The "P" has been replaced with a "G"--which stands for groupings and includes any grouping symbal such as parentheses, brackets, and/or braces.  However, the process that you remember is still the same.  To help your child at home with Order of Operations, remind them to move through the problem from left to right, first looking for any groupings, then exponents, and finally moving continually through the problem from left to right searching for either multiplication or division (doing which ever comes first) and then addition and/or subtraction (again--whichever occurs first).  Ask that your student do the work out (instead of in their head) step by step so that you can discover any calculation errors.