O bserve the problem.
  • Look at the problem; highlight all the operations signs, exponents and parentheses.

"I need to highlight each part of the problem. I will highlight the numbers in the parentheses in yellow, the addition sign in purple, the division sign in red, the exponent in blue, and the subtraction sign in pink."
R ead the signs.

"I have a set of numbers in parentheses, 4-2. I have a 9 in front of the parenthesis, so that means nine times the number inside the parentheses. I also have an exponent, 22, which means 2 to the second power. I have an addition sign between the parentheses and the 12, and a division sign between the 12 and the exponent The last operation sign is a subtraction sign."

D ecide which operations to do first.
  • Put a number over each operation in the order that you will do them.

"I'll need to use the rule of order to decide which operations to do first. Because the problem has parentheses, I'm going to use the rule: Pew Eew! Many Dogs Are Smelly! That means that I will do the operation in the parentheses first, (Pew), then I'll solve the exponent (Eew), then I'll do any multiplication operations (Many), then division (Dogs), then addition (Are) and finally subtraction (Smelly)."

E xecute the rule of order.

  • As you complete each step, cross out the numbers you have used and write the answer below.

Step 1: Pew - Parentheses first.


Step 2: Eew - Exponents

Step 3: Many: Multiply

Step 4: Dogs: Divide

Step 5: Are: Add

Step 6: Smelly: Subtract

"So, to use the rule order, I'll do the operation in the parentheses first. 4 minus 2 is 2. I am going to cross out the parentheses and write the answer 2 underneath it. Next I will do the exponent. 2 to the 2nd power is 4. I will cross out the exponent and write a 4 underneath it. I have done step 1 and step 2. Now I have 9 times 2 plus 12 divided by 4. To do step 3, I will multiply 9 times 2. 9 times 2 is 18. I will cross out the 9 (2) and write 18. Now I need to do step four, which is divide. I need to divide 12 by the 4. 12 divided by 4 is 3. I will cross out the 12 / 4 and write 3. Now I will do step five. I will add 18 and 3. 18 plus 3 is 21. Step six is subtract. 21 subtract 1 is twenty. 20 is the answer to this problem."

R elax, you're done!

  • Now take a deep breath and know that you're done with this problem.

    "I have followed the rule of order and I have solved the problem. I am going to give myself a pat on the back and relax."


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