The order of operations is a critical concept for fourth graders to grasp in preparation for algebra. This introductory lesson on the order of operations will teach your students about the helpful acronym PEMDAS.
Students will be able to solve math expressions using the order of operations.
On a piece of chart paper, write '4 + 5 x 6', and ask the students to solve it in their math journals.
Ask students to compare their answers with an elbow partner.
Invite students to share their answer with the whole class.
Explain on the chart paper that if you add 4 to 5 first, and get 9, then multiply 9 by 6 which equals 54, the answer is incorrect. Tell students that when you have multiple operations meaning addition, subtraction, multiplication, and/or division, in one expression, you must follow some rules about the order of operations.
Tell students that the order of operations states that multiplication and division must be done before addition and subtraction. For the sample problem, first you would multiply 5 by 6 which is 30, then add 4, equalling 34.