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The Triple O


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Keywords: order of operations
Subject(s): Information Skills, Art, Algebra, Video, Animation, Social Skills, Technology, Math
Grades 4 through 8
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Coastal Academy, Oceanside, CA
Planned By: Samantha Bartrom
Original Author: Samantha Bartrom, Oceanside
1. I will ask the students what kinds of things in life require a specific "order" to accomplish the task. The students will make a chart detailing the examples in colored pens. I will have a recipe with basic ingredients on hand to physically show, if you do not follow the steps and "order" in a recipe you obtain a different result or "answer." Similar to the recipe, in math we have the Order of Operations or "Triple O" to ensure we all follow the same steps to get an answer.
2. Students will be introduced to the concept of the order of operations using interactive hand gestures. They will be reminded that the order of operations allows us all to follow a common procedure to get the same answer. Meaning, problems that require more than one operation will have only ONE correct answer, because students will follow the Triple O (Order of Operations).
Hand gestures will include:
Parenthesis: Hands up above your head making parenthesis sign
Exponent: Make the number 1 and point in up towards the ceiling like an exponent.
Multiply: Make your hand into a fist or both hands into an "X".
Divide: Take one hand and make a diagonal line to symbolize the division sign.
Add: Take both hands and make a "plus" sign
Subtract: Take one hand and make a subtraction sign.
3. Students will turn to their neighbor and teach their neighbor the order of operations.
4. Using the classroom iPad, students will use the Splashtop Whiteboard app to practice solving various order of operation problems from their seat in a short game show format. The teacher will put a problem on the board and students will work in teams of 4-5 to solve the problem. The first team to "ring in" will be allowed to use the iPad to show their answer. All other teams who correctly solved the problem and showed their work will receive participation points.
5. The class will learn the Order of Operations song, sung to the tune of "The Cupid Shuffle." This song will engrain the order of operations in their head. An example of one of my classes singing the song is found at the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_U9Z0yksoZI. The song will be recorded and edited using a movie making software.
6. Finally, students will take their newfound knowledge of the order of operations and create a short presentation using either claymation, acting skills, or animation to teach the concept of the order of operations. Movie making software will be used to enhance the quality, creativity and overall excitement level of all the students.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
The concept of using movie making software as a method to assess mastery in any given content area is completely cross curricular. For example, writing is HUGE in sixth grade. We can use the movie making software to teach various stages of the writing process, how to conference about writing effectively, and we can create a movie to showcase the final products of our writing.
Follow-Up
The class will revisit their productions to review the order of operations as it is a significant and necessary prerequisite to be successful in algebra and beyond. The productions will also be posted on the classroom wiki for review and parent involvement.
Links: Link to example of Triple O song by last years class
Materials: Whiteboards, Flip Video, Networked Projectors, Elementary, Middle, Authoring and Publishing, Slideshow, Animation, Video Tools, Integrating Technology