Solve and sort numerical expressions according to different categories with this sorting activity.
Use Order of Operations to Solve Numerical Expressions
Are your students learning how to evaluate expressions by using order of operations? This skill of calculating answers based on their understanding of PEMDAS (or GEMDAS!) will help them with more advanced mathematical problems as they enter middle school. Teach Starter has a sorting activity with a fun twist ready for you to use with your students!
Students solve the numerical expression cards and sort them into categories using the 5 headings. Then, they can unscramble all the letters under each heading to reveal a math term!
This activity aims to practice evaluating numerical expressions using the order of operations and to sort the answers based on mathematical features such as prime and composite or even and odd.
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 activity to enhance learning through guided math groups or whole class lessons.
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 students needing support, reduce the number of cards or headings. For example, cards could be sorted into less complex categories such as under 30 and over 30, or just even and odd. Allow calculator use and provide an order of operations checklist.
➕ Challenge Fast Finishers
One extension would be to have students decide on another way to sort the cards besides the five used headings. Also, you could display the cards sorted in various ways and include one incorrectly sorted card for students to find the error. The cards could also be used as flashcards and play an order of operations race (hold up a card, two students race to solve, first to solve keeps the card).
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 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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