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Create an Order of Operations Math Poster Activity

written by: Amanda Smith • edited by: Trent Lorcher • updated: 2/14/2012

A lesson plan for studying the order of operations. The focus is on creating an activity that will allow students to work in groups and create a poster to present to the class.

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    Order of Operations Lesson Plan

    Introduction/instructional Time: 25 minutes

    • This lesson will focus on learning and memorizing the order of operations (Parentheses,Exponents, Multiply, Divide, Add, Subtract). If you have not already introduced your students to the concept of the order of operations, make sure to do so before begining the activity. If students have studied order of operations before, it would be a good idea to review the basic concepts.
    • There are many good techniques you can use to teach and/or review the order of operations. One of the most common ways to help kids remember the order is to use the term Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally.The begining letters stand for Parentheses, Multiply, Exponent, Divide, Add, Subtract. You may also want to try some creative ideas such as placing each of the words Parentheses, Exponent, Multiply, Divide, Add, Subtract on notecards or paper strips and have groups race to get them in the right order.
    • After learning the order, make sure your students understand how this concept relates to real workable problems. You may want to do a few examples on the board and then have students participate by coming up to the board to work a few problems.
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    Creating a Poster

    Activity time: 25 minutes

    • The activity for this lesson will be to have your students create a poster that explains the order of operations. You will need posterboard (one per group), markers, and any other craft supplies that you have handy. Divide your students into groups of 3 or 4 depending on your class size.
    • Have each group create a poster that explains the order of operations. They must have the order of operations written out in order and also have their respective sign (plus sign, division sign, etc). Encourage students to be as creative as possible as the posters will be displayed in your classroom or in the hallway. Make sure you have prepared a few posters to show as examples. After the activity, have the students present their posters and hang them on the wall (if possible). Having the posters visible in your classroom will help reinforce the order of operations and encourage memorization.
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    Wrap up Relay

    Wrap up time: 10 minutes or remainder of class period

    If you have time at the end of class, it could be fun to do a relay with the order of operations. Have each poster group come up with a name for their team. Put up a problem on the board and allow each member to come up and solve one part of the equation. The first student would solve the parentheses, the next would multiply, etc. The first group to solve the problem correctly gets a point. Keep a list of the teams and points and be sure to use this activity as a wrap up for every class until the unit is finished. Click here for a fun order of operations bingo game to play.

Teaching Tools for the Order of Operations

Need help finding creative ways to engage students in learning the Order or Operations? This series of articles provides helpful ideas and techniques to help make learning the Order of Operations fun.
  1. Ideas for Teaching Third Graders the Order of Operations
  2. Interesting Songs for Order of Operations
  3. A Great Song For Kids to learn Four Order of Operations
  4. Fun Bingo Games for Order of Operations
  5. Create an Order of Operations Math Poster Activity