April 24, 2012

Order of Operations Bingo and a Freebie

Order of operations is one of the most challenging math concepts to teach because it has so many rules! Many of you remember PEMDAS, otherwise know as Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally, but sometimes order of operations is introduced before students have studied exponents. Leaving out the "E" results in PMDAS, which can be remembered as Pass My Dad A Sandwich.

However, no matter what phrase you teach your students, they will almost always get mixed up when it comes to the order of multiplication versus division and addition versus subtraction. Students usually know that multiplication and division are performed before addition and subtraction, but many don't realize that multiplication and division are equal partners. If you only have multiplication and division in a problem, you perform the operation that comes first from left to right, even if that operation is division. The same is true of addition and subtraction.

Do I have you totally confused? Then take a look at this Order of Operations freebie to see the rules explained visually. This freebie is actually two pages taken from my Order of Operations Level 1 Bingo Game. The first page is a teaching page you can display to explain the basic rules of order of operations. The second page is for students to practice order of operations problems.

If your students need even more work with this skill, they'll enjoy playing Bingo to practice in a fun way. I created two versions of my Order of Operations Bingo (Level 1 and Level 2) because of the wide range of problems in upper elementary and middle school. Level 1 problems do not have exponents; Level 2 problems do. The teacher page and student practice page for each level are different as well. Each Bingo game also has a corresponding set of quizzes to check for understanding and mastery.

Since many teachers need both levels, I created a "combo" package that offers a better price when you buy all of these items together. The combo package also includes the tests that go with each level. Normally they would cost $10.00 if purchased separately, but they are just $7.50 when you purchase them together in the Order of Operations Bingo Combo.

I love reading comments and feedback from teachers who download my resources, because they let me know exactly how those resources are being used. Just last week a teacher left this comment about the Order of Operations Combo,
"What a great resource! This was the perfect assessment for the skill, and the reassessment is a very useful addition to help catch the below-level learners while the level II assessment challenges the upper-level learners. Thanks for creating such a fun comprehensive activity to engage learners!"
Even if you don't need the entire Order of Operations Bingo package, I hope you'll find the Level 1 freebie to be useful! If you do purchase the Combo or one of the Bingo games, please leave a comment to let me know how you used it in your classroom! Thanks!


  1. This is so helpful because I often find myself telling my fourth graders, "Don't worry about the E for now, you will get that next year." (which isn't really fair). So I love your sandwich phrase! Thanks for sharing.

    Fun in Room 4B

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  3. Thank you so much for sharing this. I find that this math concept is very challenging, even for my grade six gifted students. Any resource that will help them learn and practice is wonderful. I use so many of your great products, you have really changed how I teach, and how I think about teaching.

  4. The first page is a teaching page you can display to explain the basic rules of order of operations. The second page is for students to practice order of operations problems.
    online bingo