# Missing Operations

## A Mathematics Lesson Starter of the Day from a Winter Wonderland

 (33 ❑ 36) ❑ 25 = 29700 28 ❑ (21 ❑ 37) = -448 (30 ❑ 39) ❑ 37 = -46 (32 ❑ 30) ❑ (25 ❑ 28) = 957

Which operation (plus, minus, times or divide)
does each red box represent?

Topics: Starter | Xmas

You can find many more ChristMaths activities at:

Transum.org/ChristMaths/

• Dave Loboda, St John's Middle School, Bromsgrove
•
• Have used a number of your starters and found them to be very useful and enjoyable. We used the problem for 9 December today and one of the pupils pointed out what he felt was an error in the solution.

You gave 24 + (39 + 36) x 36 = 3564 it was pointed out that, using BIDMAS strictly, you should complete the brackets first, then multiply by 36 before adding the 24 at the start which will give 2724

Thank you
• Transum,
•
• Thanks Dave. It is very good of you to take time to point out the error. The numbers and operations in this starter are generated randomly each time the page is refreshed. The combination of randomly generated operations you came across was handled incorrectly by the software. The problem has now hopefully been solved.
• Franziska Fisken, Telford
•
• I used this activity and found it a useful intro to BIDMAS /BODMAS!
• Liz Richards, Lambeth College
•
• When will Maths teachers realise that bidmas/bodmas does not always work?
• Nairn Spink, High School Of Dundee
•
• Hello transum,the class enjoyed this starter.we will definetly come back and do more activities. We were very happy when we got the answers.
• Mary Tonti, Cleveland, OH
•
• This is the second time to your site. I am getting ready to go back to school soon and althought we are not in school right now, I can see how this would get the kids to experiment with the different operations.
• Paul Harris, Chalfont St Peter
•
• Liz, coming at this from a Mathematician AND a maths teacher, what do you mean?
BIDMAS/BODMAS is not some phrase that Maths teachers have invented to try and answer questions in Maths, it is the order of operations which happens, dictated by the constructs on which Mathematics is built. Brackets are computed first, then powers, then Multiplication/Division, computed in order of encounter from left to right, and finally Addition/Subtraction from left to right. I am always open to being wrong but as far as I know, BIDMAS is always going to hold as it is principle which underpins computation. Can you provide a counter example?
• M Shepherd, The St Lawrence Academy
•
• When will people realise that BODMAS / BIDMAS doesn't work?
(comment from previous post)
Yes it does, but you don't write it as six consecutive letters, you write B then O then D on top of M and then A on top of S.
This reminds classes that divide & multiply and add & subtract happen simultaneously, and should therefore be done in the order they appear.
This avoids the confusion of 10 - 3 + 2 equaling 5 instead of 9, for example.
Anyone still teaching BODMAS as a six letter word should think on this...
• Vikram,
•
• This really helped me in my learning!!!

How did you use this starter? Can you suggest how teachers could present or develop this resource? Do you have any comments? It is always useful to receive feedback and helps make this free resource even more useful for Maths teachers anywhere in the world.

Previous Day | This starter is for 9 December | Next Day

Note to teacher: Doing this activity once with a class helps students develop strategies. It is only when they do this activity a second time that they will have the opportunity to practise those strategies. That is when the learning is consolidated. Click the button above to regenerate another version of this starter from random numbers.

Note that the interactive student version would be better if your students have access to technology.

There is a printable worksheet to go with this activity.

Christmas Present Ideas

It is often very difficult choosing Christmas presents for family and friends but so here are some seasonal, mathematics-related gifts chosen and recommended by Transum Mathematics.

## Equate board game

Here's a great board game that will give any family with school-aged kids hours of worthwhile fun. Christmas is a time for board games but this one will still be useful at any time of year. Games can be adapted to suit many levels of Mathematical ability.

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## How Not To Be Wrong

The maths we learn in school can seem like an abstract set of rules, laid down by the ancients and not to be questioned. In fact, Jordan Ellenberg shows us, maths touches on everything we do, and a little mathematical knowledge reveals the hidden structures that lie beneath the world's messy and chaotic surface. In How Not to be Wrong, Ellenberg explores the mathematician's method of analyzing life, from the everyday to the cosmic, showing us which numbers to defend, which ones to ignore, and when to change the equation entirely. Along the way, he explains calculus in a single page, describes GĂ¶del's theorem using only one-syllable words, and reveals how early you actually need to get to the airport.

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## Graphic Display Calculator

This handheld device and companion software are designed to generate opportunities for classroom exploration and to promote greater understanding of core concepts in the mathematics and science classroom. TI-Nspire technology has been developed through sound classroom research which shows that "linked multiple representation are crucial in development of conceptual understanding and it is feasible only through use of a technology such as TI-Nspire, which provides simultaneous, dynamically linked representations of graphs, equations, data, and verbal explanations, such that a change in one representation is immediately reflected in the others.

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## Apple iPad Pro

The analytics show that more and more people are accessing Transum Mathematics via an iPad as it is so portable and responsive. The iPad has so many other uses in addition to solving Transum's puzzles and challenges and it would make an excellent gift for anyone.

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Before giving an iPad as a Christmas gift you could add a link to iPad Maths to the home screen.

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Teaching is complex. But there are simple ideas we can enact to help our teaching be more effective. This book contains over 400 such ideas." more... #ad

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## The Story Of Maths [DVD]

The films in this ambitious series offer clear, accessible explanations of important mathematical ideas but are also packed with engaging anecdotes, fascinating biographical details, and pivotal episodes in the lives of the great mathematicians. Engaging, enlightening and entertaining, the series gives viewers new and often surprising insights into the central importance of mathematics, establishing this discipline to be one of humanity s greatest cultural achievements. This DVD contains all four programmes from the BBC series.

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## Christmas Maths

This book provides a wealth of fun activities with a Christmas theme. Each photocopiable worksheet is matched to the Numeracy Strategy and compatible with the Scottish 5-14 Guidelines. This series is designed for busy teachers in the late Autumn term who are desperate for materials that are relevant and interesting and that can be completed with minimun supervision.

All the activities are suitable for use by class teachers, supply teachers, SEN teachers and classroom assistants and cover topics such as 'How many partridges did the true love give all together?' and 'Filling a sleigh with presents by rolling a dice!'. Children will have lots of fun working through the Christmas Maths themes but also gain valuable skills along the way.

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## A Compendium Of Mathematical Methods

How many different methods do you know to solve simultaneous equations? To multiply decimals? To find the nth term of a sequence?

A Compendium of Mathematical Methods brings together over one hundred different approaches from classrooms all over the world, giving curious mathematicians the opportunity to explore fascinating methods that they've never before encountered.

If you teach mathematics to any age group in any country, you are guaranteed to learn lots of new things from this delightful book. It will deepen your subject knowledge and enhance your teaching, whatever your existing level of expertise. It will inspire you to explore new approaches with your pupils and provide valuable guidance on explanations and misconceptions. more... #ad

## Math with Bad Drawings

I had been tutoring the wonderful Betsy for five years. When the day came for our last ever session together before the end of her Year 13, I received this beautiful book as a gift of appreciation.

This a very readable book by Ben Orlin. I'm really enjoying the humour in the writing and the drawings are great.

Ben Orlin answers maths' three big questions: Why do I need to learn this? When am I ever going to use it? Why is it so hard? The answers come in various forms-cartoons, drawings, jokes, and the stories and insights of an empathetic teacher who believes that mathematics should belong to everyone. more... #ad

Click the images above to see all the details of these gift ideas and to buy them online.

## Maths T-Shirts

Your access to the majority of the Transum resources continues to be free but you can help support the continued growth of the website by doing your Amazon shopping using the links on this page. Below is an Amazon link. As an Amazon Associate I earn a small amount from qualifying purchases which helps pay for the upkeep of this website.

Educational Technology on Amazon

Here is the URL which will take them to a structured online missing operations exercise.

Transum.org/go/?Num=813

Here is the URL which will take them to an exercise on the order of operations which is a prerequisite skill:

Transum.org/go/?to=BIDMAS

BIDMAS is an acronym reminding students of the order of operation used when evaluating expressions involving a number of different operations. The letters of BIDMAS stand for:

• Brackets,
• Indicies,
• Division,
• Multiplication,
• Subtraction.

When only addition and subtraction (or only multiplication and division) are left in an expression work them out in the order you find them, starting from the left and working towards the right.

## Curriculum Reference

See the National Curriculum page for links to related online activities and resources.

For Students:

For All: