Inquiry in Math: Order of Operations

Candice Shaw~ Grade 7 Math/Science

After reviewing integer addition and subtraction, and order of operations, I gave my Grade 7 students a challenge. This became a competition between many students and myself. The problem is as follows:

Given the following expression, What is the greatest solution you can create? What is the least solution you can create?

Rules:
You can only manipulate sets of brackets – the order of the numbers and symbols cannot change.
You can use as many sets of brackets as you wish.

Upon beginning this problem, students were very engaged to come up with the best answer. We kept updating the solutions on the white board. For students that weren’t overly engaged, I occasionally got them to try to achieve other students’ solutions. At first, the greatest solutions were in the hundreds, then thousands, then beyond.

Our final solutions:
Greatest: 848,897.5
Least: -283,500,000

Good luck beating our solutions! Leave a comment if you do!

photo credit: Thomas ♫ via photopin cc

Advertisements

One thought on “Inquiry in Math: Order of Operations

  1. Candice, what a great idea to present a challenge to your students and other teachers and students to make meaning of order of operations by finding the least and greatest solutions to the problem you present. Hopefully other students and teachers will take on your challenge and become engaged in an active dialogue on order of operations through the Connect! Blog.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s