Lesson plan

GEMDAS: Order of Operations

If your students understand PEMDAS and its role in the order of operations, GEMDAS will be a breeze. The “P” is replaced with a “G” to represent a wider range of grouping symbols.
Grade Subject View aligned standards

Students will evaluate expressions with parentheses, brackets, or braces in numerical expressions.

(5 minutes)
  • Review PEMDAS as an acronym for order of operations.
  • Write an expression on the board that includes parenthesis only. Example: 60 – 4 x (7 -2) + 23 + 32
  • Discuss the rules that must be followed and evaluate the expression.
  • Rewrite the expression on the board.
  • Explain to students that brackets, braces, and other symbols are often used in mathematical expressions as well.
  • Have students insert other grouping symbols to this expression.
  • Discuss the similarities and differences in the problems.
  • Explain that in today’s lesson, they will use a new and more accurate acronym, GEMDAS, to solve problems that have grouping symbols.
(5 minutes)
  • Write an expression on the board. Example: 60 – {[4 x (7 -2)] + 23} + 32
  • Use the GEMDAS acronym to work through the expression.
  • Reveal the correct answer.
  • Have students create a second expression.
  • Use GEMDAS to work through their expression.
  • Answer any questions that students have.
(10 minutes)
  • Using the GEMDAS Guided Practice worksheet, have students work in small groups or pairs to solve the expressions.
  • Have the students follow the acronym GEMDAS as they work through each of the sections until they solve the expressions.
  • Use the key to check if students have the correct answers.
  • Guide students who need additional help.
(25 minutes)
  • Using the GEMDAS Independent Practice worksheet have students use the order of operations acronym, GEMDAS, to work through each of the problems.
  • Remind students that this activity is to be completed alone.
  • Tell students to follow the order according to GEMDAS.
  • Use the key to check student answers.
  • Enrichment: Allow students to create their own problems and solve them.
  • Support: Have students create a GEMDAS foldable that they can use as they work through each problem.
(5 minutes)
  • Have students identify the GEMDAS components.
  • Have students write the following expression on an exit ticket: {[(5 x 6) ÷ (12 x 3)] – 8} + 4
  • Have each student solve the expression and turn it in for a quick assessment.
  • If time permits, allow students to solve the expression using the interactive whiteboard.
(5 minutes)
  • Recap today’s lesson.
  • Remind students that PEMDAS and GEMDAS are both common acronyms used for remembering the order of operations.
  • Allow students to ask questions that they still have and make comments about what they have learned.

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