PEMDAS: Order Up!

  • Fifth Grade
  • Math
  • 65 minutes
  • Standards: 5.OA.A.1
  • 3.0 based on 1 rating
August 8, 2015
by Rhondra Lewis

Teach students that order matters with this lesson about PEMDAS. Students will practice both in a group and individually to ensure their understanding.

Learning Objectives

Students will evaluate expressions using the order of operations.

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Introduction (5 minutes)

  • Prior to conducting this lesson, gauge students' understanding of the order of operations.
  • Write a pair of equations on the board similar to: 5 × 3 + 6 and 5 + 3 × 6
  • Discuss the rules that must be followed for this problem to be solved correctly.
  • Have students insert parentheses around the multiplication or division part in the expressions.
  • Discuss the similarities and differences in the problems and the change in results this would cause.
  • Explain that at the conclusion of this lesson, they will be able to solve problems that require them to know the order in which operations should take place.

Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (15 minutes)

  • Using the Algebraic Expressions worksheet, section 2, write an equation on the board.
  • Use parentheses to evaluate the expression in two different ways.
  • Explain the difference in the two expressions.
  • Then, use the order of operations to solve the equation.
  • Reveal the correct answer.

Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (10 minutes)

  • Using the remaining problems on the Algebraic Expressions worksheet, section 2, have students use parenthesis to solve the equations.
  • If you use the key that is provided to answer the questions, you will have to provide parenthesis that will equate to the correct answer.
  • Allow students to work in small groups or pairs to solve each problem.

Independent Working Time (25 minutes)

  • If your students have not yet learned exponents, explain them now or make the five questions on the worksheet that requires them optional.
  • Using the Order of Operations: PEMDAS worksheet, have students use the order of operations to work through each of the problems.



  • Enrichment: Allow students to create their own problems and solve them.
  • Support: Have students create a PEMDAS foldable or cheat sheet that they can use as they work through each problem.

Technology Integration

Related Books and/or Media


Assessment (5 minutes)

  • Have students identify the PEMDAS components.
  • Then have students write the following equation on a note card: 5 – 3[23 – 5 + 7 (-3)]
  • Have each student solve the equation individually and turn it in as an exit ticket.
  • If time permits, allow students to solve the equation using the whiteboard.

Review and Closing (5 minutes)

  • Recap today’s lesson, and emphasis the importance of the order of operations.
  • Allow students to ask questions that they still have and make comments about what they have learned today.

Teacher Tips


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