Rob Robinson
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Upper Primary, Middle School
5, 6, 7, 8
  • Iowa K-12 E-Curriculum
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial

    Education Standards

    Order of Operations - Zoom In

    Order of Operations - Zoom In


    This is a fun way for students to create complex math problems thinking about Order of Operations. 

    Zoom In



    1) Teacher will display the answer to a math problem with the rest of the problem covered by construction paper.  Students will look at the answer and come up with a way to get that answer. Have them explain why the created the problem that they did. 

    2) Teacher will reveal more of the problem having them revise the problem that they created to work with the new information given to them.  The teacher will ask the students, "Does your problem still work? If not, what change will you make to your problem. What in your thinking made you change that problem that way?" 

    3) the teacher will repeat this process until the problem is fully revealed.

    4) have students reflect on how their problem changed over time. Ask them how seeing more of the item influenced their thinking, which parts were most helpful in their processing or what would have happened to their observations should the reveal have occurred in a different order.

    On the board you will see some construction paper covering up a math problem. I will uncover the answer first and then you need to come up with a problem that would give us that answer. Write the problem down on your paper, and write why you chose this problem. 

    Now that everyone has created a problem and wrote down why, I will uncover another part of the problem. Look at your problem. Does your problem still work with the new infromation? If not, what changes will you make to your problem and why did you make that change. Please write this down on your paper. 

    I will continue revealing part of the problem and I want you to answer these questions on your paper each time until the whole problem is uncovered. 

    1) Does your problem still work with the new information that is now shown?

    2) If not, what changes will you make to your problem?

    3) What in your thinking made you make that change? 

    Online Brainstorm session

    Create a padlet for students to post in. Have students go to the padlet and post what they think of when they see the phrase, Order of Operations. 

    Have students post for about 5 - 7 minutes.

    Discuss their responses for commonalities. 


    The purpose of our next activity is to get you thinking about Order of Operations.

    The Core standard that we are working on today is Apply properties of operations as strategies to add, subtract, multiply, and divide rational numbers. 

    On your computer, please go to the following padlet. I want you to think about Order of Operations. On this page double click anywhere on the page and tell me what Order of Operations makes you think of. Post as many as you can.

    Order of Operations - video

    Give students about 10 minutes to watch the 2 short videos (both just over 1 minute long) and answer the question: In what order do we solve problems, in their notebook. 


    Click on each link and watch the short video explaining order of operations. 

    order of operations 1                 order of operations 2


    In what order do we solve problems? Write your answer in your notebook. 

    Your turn...

    Now it's time for the students to do the first activity again with a partner. Each student will create their own problem and write it in their notebooks. Then they will get with a partner and decide who is going to show first and who will guess. They will switch roles after the first person is done. Provide mini-whiteboards for students to use to write the answer and slowly reveal the rest of the problem, and the guesser will use their white board to guess the question and then make changes as they see more of the problem. 

    working with a partnerNow it's your turn to do the activity we started with. Create a problem and write it in your notebook. Find a partner that is also done and grab a mini-whiteboard for each of you. Decide who will be the first shower and first guesser. You will switch roles after the first person is done. The shower will write their answer on the mini-whiteboard and slowly reveal the rest of his problem. The guesser will write a problem that gets the answer and then change their problem as more of the problem is revealed. 


    Assessment Time

    The students will complete the softchalk evaluation of Order of operations. This is a very simple formative assessment where students drag and drop the operations in the correct order and complete one problem applying the order of operations. 

    Go to the following link to take a very short and quick assessment over your learning from today! 

    Order of Operation assessment