Lesson Plan

PEMDAS: Order Up!

Teach students that order matters with this lesson about PEMDAS. Students will practice both in a group and individually to ensure their understanding.
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Order of Operations Sequencing pre-lesson.
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Order of Operations Sequencing pre-lesson.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to solve expressions using the order of operations.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments


(5 minutes)
Algebraic ExpressionsOrder of Operations: PEMDAS
  • 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, and define it as symbols used in mathematics to group things.
  • 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.


  • Allow students to use their home language (L1) or new language (L2) in their discussions.
  • Provide a definition for "order of operations" and "parentheses" and a visual to help them follow the conversation. Refer to the visuals during your explanations.


  • Write the academic language they can use throughout the lesson on the board as you introduce the language.
  • Model using comparative phrases and then write some of them on the board to help in their discussions (e.g., "They are the same/different because...").