24 Maths

Maths and the Power of Memory: Mastering Order of Operations (PEMDAS)

Conquering calculations with confidence! Today we’ll tackle memorizing PEMDAS, the order of operations, which dictates the sequence for solving mathematical expressions. While memorizing a jumble of letters can feel dull, the Substitute Method can create a fun and memorable replacement.

The Challenge: PEMDAS (Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication and Division from left to right, Addition and Subtraction from left to right) establishes the order for evaluating expressions. Recalling this sequence accurately is crucial for solving problems correctly.

Substitute Method: This technique involves replacing difficult information with easier-to-remember images or sounds.

Memorizing PEMDAS with a Substitute:

PEMDAS can be easily remembered with the silly sentence:

Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sallie.

Reasoning for Choosing Substitute Method: PEMDAS is a sequence of letters that doesn’t inherently provide memory cues. The Substitute Method offers a fun and memorable replacement sentence (“Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sallie”)  where each word’s first letter corresponds to a step in the order of operations (Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication/Division, Addition/Subtraction).  This lighthearted approach makes recalling the sequence more engaging, especially for students who find memorization challenging.

Conquering Calculations with the Memory Palace: Mastering PEMDAS

Ever feel like memorizing the order of operations (PEMDAS) is a mathematical maze? You’re not alone! But what if you could transform your house into a memory palace, guiding you effortlessly through the sequence? Let’s unlock the power of the Memory Palace method and conquer PEMDAS for good!

The Challenge: PEMDAS (Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication and Division from left to right, Addition and Subtraction from left to right) dictates the order for solving mathematical expressions. Recalling this sequence accurately is crucial to avoid calculation errors. Traditional memorization can feel dull, but the Memory Palace injects a dose of fun and spatial memory into the learning process.

The Memory Palace in Action:

  1. Choose Your Palace: Select a familiar location you can easily visualize in detail, like your house, school, or even your favorite park. The more vivid your mental image, the stronger the memory will be.
  2. Create Your Journey:  Imagine yourself walking through the chosen location, mentally stopping at specific landmarks in the exact order of PEMDAS.

For Example (using a house):

  • Living Room: Imagine a giant pair of Parentheses hanging from the ceiling, cradling a math problem inside.
  • Kitchen Counter: Picture a towering stack of books (like exponents) on the counter, with the top book labeled “3⭐⭐” (3 to the power of 2).
  • Dining Table: See a delicious pizza cut into slices (multiplication) with a sign that says “4 x 2 = 8.”
  1. Continue the Journey: Move throughout your mental house, placing memorable representations for Division (e.g., a division symbol dividing cookies on a plate), Addition (e.g., plus signs hovering over happy children playing blocks), and Subtraction (e.g., a minus sign above a tug-of-war game).

Reasoning for Choosing Memory Palace: PEMDAS is a sequential process. The Memory Palace leverages your existing spatial memory of a familiar location. By placing each step of PEMDAS at specific landmarks along your mental journey, you create a strong association that aids in recall.  Imagine walking through your house –  passing the parentheses, then the exponents, and so on  –  reinforcing the order naturally.

Beyond PEMDAS: The Memory Palace method is a versatile tool. You can use it to memorize other sequences, formulas, or even lists of historical events! Explore different locations and create unique associations to transform memorization into a fun and engaging adventure.