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The purpose of this activity is to give students the opportunity to use order of operations equations in a fun, engaging environment. During this activity, students will have the opportunity to work collaboratively as they create a treasure map and clues that are based on order of operation equations of their own design.
Invitation to Learn
Invitation to LearnInstructional Procedures
Treasure Hunters- The Usborne Book of Treasure Hunting (Prospecting and Treasure Hunting), by Anna Claybourne, Caroline Young, Judy Tatchell, and Jenny Tyler; ISBN 0746034458
Treasure Map (MathStart 3), by Stuart J. Murphy; ISBN 0064467384
100 Puzzles, Clues, Maps, Tantalizing Tales, and Stories of Real Treasure, by Michael Stadther; ISBN 0976061813
The purpose of this activity is to give students the opportunity to use order of operations equations in a fun, engaging environment. During this activity, students will have the opportunity to work collaboratively as they create a treasure map and clues that are based on order of operation equations of their own design. Due to the nature of this activity, you may want to have some parents or other volunteers assist you. This activity may be done in one day or it may be broken up over a few days, whatever is most efficient for the teacher.
Before teaching this lesson, students must be familiar with the correct order of steps when performing order of operation problems. For these activities, we are going to focus on creating order of operations problems that deal with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Students need to be familiar with basic multiplication and division facts and need to be taught how to use parentheses in order of operations equations.
This activity is going to require students to work in a small group setting. If students haven't had many experiences working in small groups, take the time to establish expectations about proper behavior. Many teachers like to assign group responsibilities such as group leader, scribe, material manager, and so forth when working in small groups. In this activity, the students are going to have the roles of Map Maker, Interpreter, Guide, and Captain. The Map Maker will be responsible for drawing the treasure map, the Interpreter will write down the clues, the Guide will be responsible for getting materials, and the Captain will be responsible for keeping the group on task. This will give each student the opportunity to actively participate in the group.
As I tried this activity in my classroom, I found that students wanted to use a lot of numbers for each problem. The students need to start with simple problems that deal with addition or subtraction and then work their way towards more difficult problems that include parentheses, multiplication, and division. I would limit the amount of numbers for each problem to less than 6 numbers for the more difficult problems.
2. Become effective problem solvers by selecting appropriate methods, employing a variety of strategies, and exploring alternative approaches to solve problems.
4. Communicate mathematical ideas and arguments coherently to peers, teachers, and others using the precise language and notations of mathematics.
Invitation to Learn
This invitation to learn is simple. Ask the students what they would do if they found hidden treasure. What would they buy, where would they go, or who would they help? Have them write their answers in their math journals. Discuss their answers as a class.
Curriculum Extensions/Adaptations/ Integration
Millis, B.J. (2002). Enhancing learning-and more! through cooperative learning. Idea Paper # 38. The Idea Center, 211 South Seth Child Road Manhattan.
In this article, Millis explains the power and effectiveness of cooperative learning. Not only is cooperative learning an effective teaching strategy, it promotes a shared sense of community in the classroom because learning, like living, is inherently social. As students learn to work together through cooperative learning, they develop trust with each other and are given an opportunity to develop self-efficacy. As teachers come to understand how to implement cooperative learning, student learning can be deepened, students will enjoy attending classes, and they will come to respect and value the contributions of their fellow classmates.
Willis, J. (2007). Cooperative learning is a brain turn-on. Middle School Journal. March pgs. 4-13
Judy Willis states in her article that research has shown that in math collaboration, students learn to test one anothers conjectures and identify valid or invalid solutions. This happens because cooperative learning provides students with the most opportunities to ask questions, express ideas and opinions, and come to conclusions that they might not otherwise have through whole group instruction. Teachers can increase student understanding and involvement by increasing the amount of cooperative learning in their classrooms.