Hop for Order of Operations

By: Mary Kienstra on: October 4, 2016  in: #tlap, Engagement, order of operations

Any time a lesson can involve movement, it is more memorable than a passive listening experience.  So when I saw an example of hopscotch with the order of operations, I created it in my classroom immediately.  I knew my students would love to hop for the order of operations.

The biggest misconception with the order of operations among my students was the fact that multiplication and division go together and addition and subtraction go together, working left to right.  When I built the hopscotch on the carpeted floor, it is very easy to see that those operations are next to each other, not in sequence.

The first few days, I directed the kids through the hopscotch.  As they hopped, they called out each operation.  Now, after a few weeks, the newness has worn off the hopscotch, but the kids still go over and hop through the order of operations on their own.  The hopscotch also serves as a constant visual reminder of the order of operations.

Math has to be more than a series of worksheets.  It has to be more than just memorizing formulas and procedures. The order of operations hopscotch activity helps bring math to life in a way that students might remember.  And it might be just a little bit fun too!

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