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Q&A #4301

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Order of operations: Algebra

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From: Claire <msclairefrances@yahoo.com>
To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2004070201:48:41
Subject: Re: Order of Operations Game



Regarding a good Order of Operations game...  I have two good games
for the Order of Operations that my students enjoy.

1.  I came up with this idea while I was student teaching.  My
students were really struggling with the concept of order of
operations and getting bored with the day to day math.  It is loosely
based on the game of "telephone".

I have used it with white boards and white board pens as well as
pencil and paper.

I put the students in groups of 4 to 5 and have the students sit in
columns.  The first student in the row starts with the white board (or
paper).  I write a problem on the board involving more than two
operations.  The first person in the row writes down the problem and
then passes the board/paper to the person behind them.  The second
person performs the first operation in the problem only and then
passes it to the third.  The third person must first judge if the step
is correct or not, either fix the step or perform the second step in
the problem and then passes it to the fourth person.  When the problem
gets to the end of the row, the board or paper is passed to the front
of the row.  This continues until the group thinks they are finished
with the problem.  The first group to have the correct steps AND
answer wins that round.  I have to see different handwriting for each
step for the group to win.  With each round, a different student in
each group starts the problem. 

2.  BINGO  I come up with about 30-40 Order of Operation problems that
have the answers from 0 to 30 or -20 to +20, depending on what I want
the students to practice.  I have the students fill in a 5 x 5 grid
with the numbers from 0 to 30, so that none repeat.  They will not
have all the numbers on their grid.  I usually write the problems on
note cards and have students pick cards as I go along.  As each
problem is picked, I write the problem on the overhead and the
students solve it.  If the answer is on their grid, they cross it off.
If an answer has been picked already, then they know their steps are
incorrect!  I will either give candy or a little extra credit for
BINGO's.  

A note about BINGO, if it goes on too long, the students get bored. 
Also, many students get more than one BINGO, so this should only go on
for 10-15 problems.  Just a quick little game at the end of a period
or something.

I hope this helps!

Claire

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