Order of Operations (Day 1)

10 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


Students Will Be Able To simplify expressions and equations with multiplication and division using order of operations working from left to right. Students Will Be Able To simplify expressions and equations with addition and subtraction using order of operations working from left to right. Students will be able to solve expression and equations using order of operations, working from left to right.

Big Idea

Order of Operations is essential to all math work, leading to understanding of Algebraic expressions.

Language Objective and Prior Knowledge

Language Objective: Students will be able to explain using academic language they steps the take to solve a mathematical expression or equation.

Prior Knowledge: Students in 4th grade do some work with Order of Operations. Students use basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division skills.

Math Blast - Lesson Activator

15 minutes

Math Blast 24 Number of the Day

Math Blast is a quick, fun, fast-paced math game! Every day starts with a Number of the Day. This is the tool I use to not only recall, reteach and pre-teach but it is my way to start classroom management. Students know the expectations of how to come in and get right to work. I do not have to spend any time waiting for students to get ready. Class starts immediately. And since I include music students are really engaged. I also encourage students to support each other for those struggling learners. This is also a great vehicle to expose students to concepts that I know will show up in state testing so that when we do get to these lessons students have already seen the work. Math Blast’s progression goes from easy to hard on the difficulty scale!

Students use a white board and divide it up as follows:


This space students write in the number of the day.



This section is the factors of the number of the day.


This section the students put the number of the day over 100.



This section students write if the number is Prime, Composite or Square.


Using the fraction, students write it as a decimal and a percentage.


This section the students put the above fraction in Lowest Terms if possible.



See, Think, Wonder

5 minutes

Andy Warhol's Flowers

I end Math Blast and lead into my lesson with a See, Think, Wonder. The art is choose always relates to the unit I am teaching. It is a real fun way to get your students to think deeper about a subject without them knowing that they are doing it.  

The SEE part is pretty basic thinking, I see….

The THINK part gets them thinking a little deeper. This art makes me think about….

And the WONDER gets them really thinking deeper. This art makes me wonder if….

It is my way to getting their brains ready to think about math and I find that the transition is great. It is also a quick chance to expose my students to different types of art.

Note: You don’t have to use art; I use art because I am passionate about art. Use examples of things that ignite your passion!

The Elevator Speech

10 minutes

Concept: Order of Operations has students do multiplication/division work in an expression first before addition/subtraction. I no longer teach PEMDAS as I find it confuses students. They think that multiplication comes before division. Order of Operations dictates that either comes first when working left to right. If you’re going to teach PEMDAS please make sure to explain this to students.

(*PEMDAS = Parenthesis, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition and Subtraction or Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally)

Script, if needed: Start with a simple expression and have student pull out their calculators to do the work   3 + 12 ÷ 3. Ask student if they got 5 or 7. Explain that in mathematics we have a formula for working. Just like in reading, we work from left to right in math. Explain that we are going to only work on multiplication and division first. 

Work It Out

40 minutes

Have students work in teams (with calculators) and them create 3 expressions using only division and multiplication, for example 3 x 15 ÷ 5. Encourage them to use multiplication first and then do the division first. If you want, give them the problems to work with instead of making up their own. It is more about using the right process.

After about 15-20 minutes, bring the class back together and have the same talk about addition/subtraction. Give them time to explore addition/subtraction the same way. 

Closing The Deal

10 minutes

Stress how important it is to multiplication/division first and then look at addition/subtraction. Show them an example, 30 – 20 ÷ 5, ends up being two very different problems if not correctly. 

The Closing It section of the lesson is very important. This opportunity allows you to bring the class back together and have them make the connection to the learning objective of the day. You should also make sure that you make a connection to the word of the day. This closing gives students the opportunity to make the connection to the launch and they work that they did. It is also another chance to give a quick formative assessment to check for understanding.

Quick Assessment

5 minutes

The Post-It Poster: Check to see who is listening and give 10 + 12 ÷ 3.

The Quick Assessment is supposed to be quick and on the easy to medium difficulty level. You are checking to see if students understand the basic concept of the lesson. If you make the problem difficult you are adding a different level of assessment. If you are teaching a higher level class adding a difficult layer might be appropriate but please note that I do not find it necessary to add this level.