What is the order of operations?

In this post, I’m going to break down everything you need to know about the order of operations and give you worksheets to practice!

What Is The Order of Operations?

The order of operations are a set of ‘rules’ used in Mathematics to ensure there is consistency when solving equations. Children (and even adults) get easily confused when trying to solve problems that involve these rules, because we are so used to reading left to right. The order of operation rules let us know which procedures to do first when evaluating a mathematical equation.

Order of Operations Acronym

BIMDAS – This acronym (along with others) is often used to remember the order in which equations must be solved. When broken down, it becomes very simple to understand the order of operations. Brackets, Indices, Multiplication/Division, Addition/Subtraction.
So, whenever you solve a problem, you must solve it with this in mind. For example, multiplication comes before addition, and therefore any multiplication must be done before any addition.

Important Rule!

There is another important rule to follow when solving equations using BIMDAS. Multiplication and division are paired. Addition and subtraction are paired. This means that when division comes before multiplication, we just answer from left to right. Likewise, when subtraction comes before addition, we just answer from left to right. This can be confusing for children because we have just taught them to follow this mnemonic for order of operations, and now they have to go against it! Ensure you give your students plenty of chance to practice this rule. See if you can spot the example down below where this rule is applied.

Order of Operation Examples

Example 1: 7 + (8 x 2) = ___ 
We do the brackets first – 8 x 2 = 16 
now we do the addition 7 + 16 = 23

Example 2: 8 + 10 x 2 = ___ 
We do the multiplication first – 10 x 2 = 20 
now we do the addition 8 + 20 = 28

Example 3: 32 ÷ 4 x 8 = ___ 
We do the division first – 32 ÷ 4 = 8 
now we do the multiplication 8 x 8 = 64

Example 4: 6 x 2 + 5 x 4 = ___ 
We do the multiplication first – 6 x 2 = 12 and 5 x 4 = 20 
now we do the addition 12 + 20 = 32

Order of Operation Worksheets

In grade 4, students should focus on the multiplication, division, addition and subtraction aspect of BIMDAS. From here, they’ll begin to understand how it works and will improve with practice. The order of operation worksheets below will help you and your students get some important practice. For more great worksheets, check out Dad Worksheets. They have a lot of easy to follow worksheets on this topic that will help you and your students! If you require further explanation, check out this video from Mr J. He breaks the order of operations and makes it nice and simple to understand (using PEMDAS). 

Grade 4/5 order of operation worksheets to help your students work on BIMDAS / BODMAS / PEDMAS. This work pack consists of worksheets, exit tickets, puzzles, color by number and a board game – all relating to order of operations (with a focus on multiplication, division, addition & subtraction). Understanding this mathematical concept is very important and must be taught in isolation. This work pack will give your class the practice they need to ensure they remember the rules relating to order of operations.

Resource includes:
– 3 worksheets
– 1 page of exit tickets
– 2 math puzzles
– 1 board game
All answers included

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