Tuesday, March 5, 2013

I've Got a THING for Order of Operations

In Room 202, we've moved on from order of operations to measurement and geometry, but that doesn't mean the kids couldn't use a little more practice, right? I already blogged about the strategies and activities I used to introduce order of operations in a post called "Room 202's Order of Operations Arsenal" back in February, but I just wanted to share this extra fun review opportunity the kids are going to get tomorrow.

Tomorrow, is Wacky Wednesday at our school. The kids are super-excited about the opportunity to wear crazy socks, silly hats, and mix-matched clothes to school. Everybody, adults and children alike,  get caught up in the spirit of the day. I suggested that my grade partners and I dress up as Dr. Seuss's THINGS for Wacky Wednesday. Initially, I proposed our "numbers" should be our room numbers like they did at the school where my sister teaches, but then I had a an even better idea. When I made the red t-shirts for everybody, I created a unique numerical expression for each shirt. Our fifth graders should be able to simplify the expression on each shirt using PEMDAS. I'm hoping they'll get a kick out of figuring out which "THING" each of us is.

I've also created this homework sheet for the kids. This is the perfect time to review order of operations since we've been away from the skill for a couple weeks. We'll be able to use the homework to assess whether or not the kids have retained what we taught them about using order of operations to simplify expressions last month.

UPDATE: Wacky Wednesday 2013 is history. We survived a day of inside out clothing, mismatched shoes, fake mustaches, wigs, and a lot of other tomfoolery. As hard as it is to believe, we even managed to squeeze in some learning. 

I wanted to add this photo of our fifth grade team wearing our THING getups. The shirts were a hit! The kids totally "got" it. As soon as we walked into the cafeteria for morning announcements, the kids started doing mental computations and calling out our "numbers". Later in the day, it was fun to see their faces when they realized their homework problems were the same problems on our shirts. 

I often talk about how you have to throw a concept at kids as many different ways as you can think of, in the hopes that it will "stick" eventually. This was definitely a fun way to "throw" order of operations at the kids one more time.


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  2. I love the Thing shirts!

    I discovered you on the Fifth in the Middle state linky! I'm your newest follower!

    Sweet Rhyme – Pure Reason

  3. That is such a great idea! Love those shirts- so creative. Thanks for linking up with me in the Teaching Blog Circle!

  4. That's such a clever idea! I love that your whole team got in on the fun!