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Order of Operations with Absolute Value Worksheets

You may have heard the saying, "The Devil is in the details!" That is so true when you find an absolute value symbol within an expression. This is where students who have been having a good level of success with the PEMDAS sometimes hit a bit of difficulty. If they are not paying attention to the details they may have a final solution that is the polar opposite answer to what we are looking for or just way off, in general. In this topic we get students in the habit of how to proceed when evaluating expressions that have these symbols. These worksheets and lessons take into account the concept of absolute value and the operations that they may affect along the way.

Aligned Standard: 7.NS.A.1c

  • Answer Keys - These are for all the unlocked materials above.

Single Operations Involving Absolute Value Practice Sheets

Twenty problems that involve only one type of operation with absolute value.

Mixed Operation Practice Worksheets

Practice related operations sheets here.

How Does Absolute Value Affect the Order of Operations?

Penguin Skiing

When solving an equation, students need to understand the levels of math. There are four basic arithmetic operations that a student will come across in an equation. However, they have to follow an order when solving the equation, and that order is known as PEMDAS.

P - Parenthesis, E - Exponents, M - Multiply, D - Divide, A - Add, S - Subtract

An easy way to remember this order is to remember the phrase "Parachute Expert, My Dear Aunt Sally."

You start solving an equation by solving whatever there is in parenthesis followed by exponents, multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction. A lot of students get confused when they see a value in modulus or an absolute value. They do not know what they have to do with it. We know that absolute value signs make the final result of operation positive. When you come across such value in an equation, you need to treat the absolute value bars like parenthesis, thus solving them at the initial stage.

How should you proceed when you come across an expression that is found inside an absolute value sign? How should they be processed in respect to the normal order of operations? When you see these absolute value symbols, in my class we call them skis, you should follow a three-step process.

Step 1) Inside - Process any expression found inside the absolute value sign (skis).

Step 2) Take the Absolute Value - Find the absolute value of what your answer from step 1 was.

Step 3) Evaluate with PEMDAS - Once that value is clear, process this expression as you normally would following the order of operations.

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