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Operations simplified for growing mathematicians!


Get this right and you get Maths! When working in Algebra (like any other work) you need to follow the rules to get it right. Yes, of course there are other ways to handle problems but getting the basics right is the first step! Here’s how I teach it.

Think about a BMW (BEMA). This is the key to solving algebraic problems:

Note: work from top to bottom, then left to right. The most powerful operators are at the top, the least powerful at the bottom. Each pair of operators undoes the other – square root undoes squaring, etc.

Example: Simplify in terms of a:

3(1-2)2 + a x 3 – 3

=  3(-1) 2 + a x 3 – 3           (bracket first)

=  3(1) + a x 3 – 3              (finish bracket)

=  3 + 3a-3                         (multiplication next)

=  3 + 3a-3                         (addition/subtraction – 3’s cancel out)

=  3a                                  (yippee!)


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