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A Great Song For Kids to learn Four Order of Operations

written by: Amanda Smith • edited by: Wendy Finn • updated: 2/14/2012

Have fun teaching your class about the order of operations by having them learn to sing the steps. Singing catchy songs can help students memorize the material quickly.

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    A Great Memorizing Technique

    This lesson is designed to help you teach your students about the order of operations in a fun and catchy way. You can begin your class as you normally would. It is always a good idea to have your students do a few review problems when they first arrive in class. If you have not taught the order of operations, have them work a few problems from a concept that you have just recently covered. This will help your students build strong skills by encouraging repetition and practice.

    There are many different ways that you can introduce the order of operations to your class. You probably know what works best in your class when introducing new material. Don't change something that already works. There are also many creative ways to teach the order of operations that you can incorporate into your lesson. It always helps to have the steps wrote out on the board so that students can visually read them and refer to them until they feel comfortable with memorization. The steps are Parentheses, Exponents, Multiply, Divide, Add, Subtract.

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    Have a Sing Song

    Using a song to help memorize the order of operations can be extremely helpful. I still remember some of the math songs that I learned in highschool. My geometry teacher loved coming up with cheesy songs that helped us remember steps or equations. I had no idea that I would go on to remember these songs all through college and into adulthood.

    Start by introducing the song listed below. Happy Birthday is a widely known song that all students should be able to use to help them remember the steps of the order of operations. Unless you are used to singing in front of people, this is going to take a little bit of courage on your part. Keep in mind that you are setting the example for your class. They will only sing the song if you are willing to sing it too. Have your students sing the song as a group as many times as you'd like. In order for this activity to be most effective, you want to have your students practice singing it at least once during every class until you feel they adequately know the material.

    Here's a great idea for a creative order of operations song:

    Order of Operations to the tune of Happy Birthday

    H-a-p-p-y...........Birthday.....to you, ..Happy....Birthday... To you

    Parentheses Exponents Multiply, Divide...Add...........Subtract.

    H-a-p-p-y.......... Birthday.....to you, ..Happy....Birthday... To you

    Parentheses Exponents Multiply, Divide...Add...........Subtract.

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    Other Activities and Wrap Up

    The amount of time to devote to teaching the song varies. Do what feels comfortable with your particular students. Students in one of your classes may enjoy the song more than other classes. When you have successfully taught the song and had students sing it a few times, it's time for them to try using it with some real math problems. You can do this by using problems from worksheets, textbooks, or by writing problems on the board. Make sure that the problems are complex enough to need the steps for the order of operations, but simple enough to solve fast to allow for repetition of the steps.

    There are many other fun activities that you can incorporate into your lesson about the order of operations. The key is to find out what works best for your students and go with it.

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

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