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# Arithmetic Basics

Arithmetic is the simplest branch of math. Even though there might be some more advanced ideas such as fractions and decimals, arithmetic is about the functions addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. It's all about the simple manipulation of numbers use of basic operations. Until you hit stuff like fractions, you will be working with whole numbers.

How could arithmetic handle two numbers? Let's use 2 and 5 as sample numbers.
- Addition: 2 + 5 = 7
- Subtraction: 5 - 2 = 3
- Multiplication: 5 x 2 = 10
- Division: 6 ÷ 2 = 3

# Before the Math

Before you start learning about operations and math you might like to think about stuff you already know. Shapes are a big part of easy math and more difficult math. You probably know about circles and squares, but there are also triangles, pentagons, and something called a torus. Knowing three-dimensional shapes will also be a big help. They won't all be new to you, you know about balls and boxes. We'll cover ideas such as a ball is really a sphere. Your box may be a cube, but may not be. There will also be time to learn about cylinders, pyramids, and prisms.

After the shapes come the numbers. You're pretty lucky because math is based on ten symbols that represent number values. Of course, there are millions of combinations of those numbers, but there are only ten symbols. Once you learn how to recognize them and understand what value each represents, nothing will be able to stop you.

This is where most of your math experience begins. Addition and subtraction are the core to most math. Even people who don't know math can add and subtract. Addition is the mathematical concept of putting things together to form a greater amount. Subtraction is the opposite. Subtracting one thing from another is the same as taking some things away from a group.

## RELATED ACTIVITIES

 Identifying Shapes Quiz - Play Activity Counting to One Hundred (100) - Play Activity

# Multiplication and Division

One step up from addition and subtraction are multiplication and division. Multiplication is a fancy version of addition where you put many groups together instead of two or three. It shouldn't be hard for you to get the concept once you start. Division is a little different. Although you wind up with smaller numbers, it's not like subtraction. If multiplication puts groups together, division breaks larger groups into smaller groups. Division is big if you have food and you need everyone to get the same amount. Think about a pizza. Eight pieces and four friends. How many pieces each? That's division... Breaking up pizzas and pies into equal amounts.

# Ordering it Up

We're going to finish up with a few rules on how to use your new skills. If you get a fancy math problem with addition, and multiplication, there are some rules that tell you how to solve the problem. Those rules are called the "order of operations." Continuing the math problem, you would have done the multiplication first, then the addition.
Sooooo...

Example:
3 x 2 + 4 = ?
(1) You do 3 x 2. Which is equal to 6.
(2) Then you do the addition. 6 + 4. Which is equal to 10.

We'll explain more when we get there, but you get the basic idea. You can't just do math willy-nilly across the page. You need to follow a few rules.

## RELATED ACTIVITIES

 Three-Digit Addition Quiz (With Carrying) - Play Activity One and Two-Digit Multiplication Quiz (No Carrying) - Play Activity

 RELATED LINKS - Numbernut: More Basic Math - Biology4Kids: Scientific Method - Biology4Kids: Logic - Biology4Kids: Science Videos - Chem4Kids: Elements

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