#### The Order of Operations in Math — A Complete & Kid-Friendly Guide

Check out our complete, easy-to-follow guide to the order of operations in math, with definitions, illustrated examples, and engaging practice activities.

Feline aficionados rejoice—**October 29 is National Cat Day**! It’s an absolutely purrfect day for word problems, so put on your thinking caps and kitty ears right meow and celebrate with us!

*Debora has 8 cats. Half of her cats have 6 whiskers each, and the other half have 10 whiskers each. How many total whiskers do Debora's cats have altogether? *

Solution: Half of 8 is 4. Debora has 4 cats that have 6 whiskers and 4 cats that have 10 whiskers. 4 × 6 = 24 and 4 × 10 = 40. So her cats have 24 + 40 = **64 whiskers** altogether.

*Extra challenge:* *A cat jumped off the table and landed on the floor (on its feet, of course). Its trajectory can be modeled by the function f(t) = –t ^{2} + 2t + 8, where t is the time (in seconds) since the cat jumped from the table. How long after the cat jumps will it touch the floor?*

Solution: Since f(t) is the trajectory, we can find when the cat hits the ground when f(t) = 0. So, we have 0 = –t^{2} + 2t + 8.

Multiply by –1: 0 = t^{2} – 2t – 8

Factor: 0 = (t + 2)(t – 4)

Solve: t = –2 and t = 4

Since t = –2 does not make sense in the problem's context, the answer is t = 4. So it took **4 seconds **for the cat to touch the floor.

**Cats by the Numbers:**

There are currently an estimated 85.8 million pet cats in the US (via statista.com)! Per Statistic Brain, there are 473 taste buds on a cat’s tongue (humans have about 10,000), and on average, they sleep about 16 hours a day (we’re a little jealous of that one). Hungry for more kitty facts? Animal Planet and Buzzfeed have you covered.

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