teaching resource

Numerical Expressions Match-Up

Teach Starter Publishing
Google Slide, PDF | 1 page | Grades: 5

Evaluate numerical expressions and find corresponding mathematical phrases with this match-up activity.

What Is a Numerical Expression?

When learning about order of operations, students will learn the term “numerical expression.” This combination of numbers and operation symbols (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and/or division) can be evaluated and solved. Numerical expressions do not contain any variables. In order to solve a numerical expression, students must have a good understanding of order of operations. Students must know that they have to evaluate anything that is grouped together (parentheses, brackets, and braces), evaluate exponents, multiply and divide from left to right, and finally add and subtract from left to right. With this activity, students will practice evaluating numerical expressions while matching them to phrases written in word form.

To play, students make matching sets of 3 by finding the phrase, numerical expression, and solution that go together to make 12 total sets. Answers can be recorded on the page provided.

Through this activity, students will practice writing expressions from phrases and solving the expressions using the order of operations.

Tips for Differentiation + Scaffolding 

A team of dedicated, experienced educators created this resource to support your math lessons.

In addition to individual student work time, use this numerical expressions game to enhance learning through guided math groups, whole class lessons, or remote learning assignments.

If you have a mixture of above and below-level learners, check out these suggestions for keeping students on track with the concepts:

🆘 Support Struggling Students

For struggling students provide a key terms list (such as total, sum, quotient, etc.), an order of operations checklist to follow as they work out the numerical expressions, a calculator to check work, and work in a small group setting.

➕ Challenge Fast Finishers

Have students sort the expressions from least to greatest or place them on a number line based on their solutions. Use the expression and solution cards as a memory match game.

Plan lessons for all ability levels with our 10 Best Scaffolding Strategies! 

Easily Prepare This Resource for Your Students

Use the dropdown icon on the Download button to choose between the color PDF, black and white PDF,  or editable Google Slides version of this resource. A recording sheet and answer key are also included with this download.

Print on cardstock for added durability and longevity. Place all pieces in a folder or large envelope for easy access.

Sustainability Tip: Print a few recording sheets on cardstock and slip them into dry-erase sleeves. Students can record their answers with a whiteboard marker, then erase and reuse them.


This resource was created by Lorin Davies, a teacher in Texas and Teach Starter Collaborator.

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