The order of operations is an important concept in math. It’s also a frustrating concept to teach and learn. Most students need lots of practice, multiple tips, and a myriad of ways to think about good old PEMDAS*.
Part three: online PEMDAS games
After you’ve taught order of operations until you’re blue in the face, take a break and let some online games have a crack at it. Your students might find that practice is a little more fun when it comes in the form of a computer game.
Here are a few good order of operations games. You can paste the links into a convenient place for your students to choose from, or let them work from this blog post.
Kids, let’s have some PEMDAS fun! This guide is organized to help you find a game that suits your order of operations confidence level.
Good for beginners:
Order of Operations at SoftSchools.com: I like this game because it takes actual calculation out of the equation, so to speak. Students click on which operation they should perform first. The program models how to show your work.
Another no-calculation order of operations game: This game also lets you just deal with order of operations, not the calculations. It’s a good way to build your confidence in knowing what to do first.
Good for practice:
The Order of Operations Millionaire Game: practice PEMDAS in the style of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? This is a one or two player game.
Leveled order of operations game: This game provides practice problems that are leveled. You can choose to deal with parenthesis or just keep it simple. This is a good game for building your skills.
Connect Four-style order of operations game: This game can be for one or two players. It lets you solve practice problems, then place your piece for Connect Four. You can change the level of difficulty.
Rags to Riches: build your virtual fortune as you solve order of operations problems. It’s fun to think about making money at math practice!
Good for PEMDAS pros:
Funbrain Order of Operations game: This one asks students to place the numbers in order to create an equation that yields a predetermined result. This is higher-level order of operations thinking. Good for students who understand the concept, not so great for struggling students.
*PEMDAS: Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally. Don’t get creative with the acronym. This is what every math teacher after you will use.