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Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Order of operations: Algebra

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From: Janet <mrsmontymath@yahoo.com>
To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2004072021:51:51
Subject: Re: question (Order of Operations)

I attended an Algebra workshop last summer where we were taught the
"Order of Op Hop". It's based on the traditional game of hopscotch.

1. Create a grid on the floor (or have students do so outside in
groups of about 6). The form should be (working bottom-up) a single
square, another square on top of it, two squares side-by-side above
that, and finally two more side-by-side squares at the top.

2. The students "hop" throught the grid - calling out (all students
each time): "Grouping symbols, exponents, multiplication-division from
left to right, addition-subtraction from left to right". They then hop
out of the grid and it's the next student's turn.

3. Back in the classroom, the students recreate the grid on their
paper and fill in the symbols (and words) that go with the squares.
Roughly, it'd look something like:

Square 1     Square 2     Squares 3/4     Squares 5/6
                               *               +
  (  )          ^x
                               /               -

(It's hard to draw in text, but I hope I've given the idea a decent
representation. I still remember the chant - and it adds that
ever-important "from left to right" to the concept.)

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