Wednesday, February 8, 2017

A Public Service Announcement: Order of Operations Problems and Common Core

The Many Banes of My Existence by Alexis: Are you smarter than a fourth (or fifth or sixth) ...:

I absolutely DEPLORE those "order of operations" problems that are posted on Twitter or Facebook or Pinterest or wherever mathematical idiots gather (I'm not implying that everyone who frequents any of those places is inherently a mathematical idiot; I am merely opining that the "order of operations" problems draw the math idiots out of the woodwork  the way Travelodge motels attract bedbugs.. Wherever they are presented. people who have a basic arithmetical background are bored by them and move on, as they mastered the concept by fifth grade. It's  others who have to argue over their incorrect answers for days.

This is not for my regular readers, who have intelligence. This is for the benefit of the great unwashed segments of our population who come here on occasion by hitting the
"next blog" button.

Just remember the "Please excuse my dear Aunt Sally" acronym/mnemonic device. First come expressions with parentheses. Next are exponential expressions. Next are those numbers that must be multiplied or divided. Last are the numbers to be added or subtracted. Once those operations have been satisfied, begin on the left and work to the right to solve or simplify the expression.

A Twitter friend of mine recently mis-solved one of these problems, then went on to deride others, saying that the reason they found the incorrect answer was because of Common Core.  I'm not a gynormous fan of Common Core, but it had absolutely nothing to do with the lady having found the incorrect answer, as whatever education she had was wrapped up long before a few educators and politicians got together, shared a bit of LSD, and in the midst of it devised Common Core.


  1. I hate them too, mainly because I suck at math.

  2. I never could excuse Aunt Sally after what she and Uncle Ernie did on the dining room table. But that's just me.

    1. I cannot say that I blame you. Anyone who inherits that table, or even that dining room, might want to burn it for disease prevention reasons.