Friday, September 5, 2014

A way of teaching order of operations.

Today, my algebra I class practiced using order of operations.  What I noticed is my students could tell me the Order of Operations but they had trouble applying the rules.  They seemed to want to do which ever operation came first as they worked left to right.  Many times they ignored the multiplication when a number was located right next to a parenthesis and do the addition or subtraction first.
So I got the bright  idea of having my students take the longer more complex expressions and work the problem out in detail with one step per line.  Then I had them identify what operation out of the order of operations.  This made them slow down and think about the next step.  It was awesome because it made them really think about the order of operations. 
I am still waiting for my ipads to begin integrating them again.  I am thinking that I can have students do their work, snap a shot of the work, annotate it by writing down the operations and submitting it to  me. 
I think I could also have them comment in their journals about what they leaned through this exercise. 
On a side topic, I am creating an interactive book on triangles using iBook Author. It is about 3/4 done and when it is ready, I have an apple trainer, someone who works for the state school board and my principal who all want copies.  This is something I did not expect and it means I have to get it finished sooner.  I'll keep you posted on its progress.