written by: Amanda Smith
• edited by: Trent Lorcher
• updated: 2/14/2012
Do you remember your favorite song from 10 years ago? Do you remember it word for word? That is the beauty of using music as a tool in learning. By putting the steps of the order of operations to song, your students will have a blast while increasing their memorization of the concept.
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Order of Operations Songs
The order of operations is a very important concept in elementary math education. It is crucial that your students memorize the order of operations, because it is a skill that they will need throughout their mathematical career from highschool well into college. As they venture into higher levels of math, your students will be expected to know the order of operations. If they do not have a strong foundational understanding, it will be difficult for them to keep up with the rest of the class.
Songs are one of the best ways to encourage memorization and long term learning. Think about it. What happens when you hear a song on the radio that you have not heard in 10 years? Generally, we surprise ourselves with how much we remember from a song. Sometimes we can sing the song word for word, note for note. This is just one example of how music can powerfully help us to learn and remember.
Take a look at some of these creative activities for order of operations songs, Consider using them in your classroom to help your students have fun mastering and memorizing this concept.
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Put it to a Rap
Many students love to participate in creative collaborative learning projects. Try this activity to have your students come up with a fun rap about the order of operations.
Divide your students into groups of 3 or 4 depending on class size.
Explain to each group that they are responsible for coming up with a rap about the order of operations. They can designate one person as the beat keeper and work together to come up with a catchy song that lists the order of operations. If you already have a few examples, share them. Your students will love to hear you rap.
Allow students ample time in class to come up with their project. Remember, the more that they are working together as a group discussing the project, the more they are reinforcing the steps of the order of operations.
Create a rubric specific to the activity. With creative activities, students always need a guideline or checklist of what is expected of them. Otherwise the temptation to focus on the creative aspects of the project may override the importance of presenting clear information on the material. You can always add extra credit opportunities for the most creative projects.
Allow class time for students to present their raps. This will help students get excited about the project and establish confidence in their creations.
You will be amazed at some of the creative ideas your students come up with. Some students may want to go more in depth with their project, creating a music video or dressing up for the performance. Help students have fun on performance day by staying energetic and enthusiastic about each groups presentation.
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Other Creative Ideas for Order of Operations Songs.
You can do the same activity listed above with any genre of song. You can have your students work together to create a country western song or a love song about the order of operations.