# Frustrated son wants to use calculators and seems lazy

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BUT, this would only teach the student that parentheses come first. We're talking about situations where the same equation would be written without parentheses (they aren't needed in it) and still do the order of operations correctly (all multiplication before addition). Personally, I think putting parentheses where they aren't needed (such as here) and solely reminding students to do parentheses first hurts more than helps in the long run. It MIGHT be good at the very beginning, but should be quickly phased out.

I agree with you, especially if all the examples involve multiplication in parentheses.

If you're going to teach parentheses, they should be used where they'll change the answer of the problem, e.g. 3-(4+2) as opposed to 3-4+2.

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If you're going to teach parentheses, they should be used where they'll change the answer of the problem, e.g. 3-(4+2) as opposed to 3-4+2.

:iagree: Perhaps the problem is in the elementary books with the way it is taught. I don't know. I don't teach elementary and have never looked at any elementary book aside from helping with hw if necessary (my own kids were in ps then).

If the given example is the norm for all elementary books, I'd disagree with the way it's being taught. (The way the curriculum chooses to teach it.)

I disagree with aspects of high school books too, so I'm not picking on this one book overall.

Again though, if this is the norm, it could be why kids continue to have problems with order of ops even up to the high school level where I see them.

Parentheses should only be used where needed IMO - especially when teaching order of ops.

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W/o going and looking, I would suspect that the posted example from Horizons (5x8)+(5x10) is actually meant to ultimately teach the dist. prop. and will end up leading to regrouping as 5x(8+10). I don't recall where Horizons teaches order of operations, but it does teach it.

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W/o going and looking, I would suspect that the posted example from Horizons (5x8)+(5x10) is actually meant to ultimately teach the dist. prop. and will end up leading to regrouping as 5x(8+10). I don't recall where Horizons teaches order of operations, but it does teach it.

This sounds likely to me.

I only have years K, 4, and 5 of Horizons out of storage right now, so I was going on the TOC and placement exams available at some websites to find the information. According to those, they teach order of operations (the whole idea, PEMDAS) in 6th grade.

I've only gone through K-6 once with Horizons, so I'm not as familiar with it as 8filltheheart is. But it certainly sounds like Horizons to teach all the properties of the basic four operations first.

I'll have a closer look at grade 4 if I can get a moment later today. If I recall correctly, all the properties of multiplication and division are taught in grade 4, so it would be logical to sneak in some work on PEMDAS toward the end of the book...