Order of Operations Swivel Book

And I’m finally back and running. Had to take a little break over the holidays to spend time with family and shopping. While I totally loved doing the shelf elf series and the Polar Express stuff, that totally wore me out. I hope you guys enjoyed it, and if you didn’t see it in time for this Christmas, I hope you look back and download all of them for next year!

My school actually had to go back to school last Thursday, so I’m already back in to the swing of things. I’ve got several things I want to post about, so I’ll try to get them all typed up today and schedule them out over the weekend.

After going over exponents right before break, we started this semester with numerical expressions and order of operations. I decided to do, what I call, swivel books. I’m not sure what else you would call them. lol! My intention was to get notecards, but when I went to Office Depot I found some really cute tiny notecards. they are probably about 3″ by 2 1/2″.  Here is a picture of the swivel book……

order of operations swivel book picture


I gave each student five of the little cards and a brad. I started out letting them punch their own holes, but some were not punching them correctly and the holes were on the edge. I decided it was just easier for me to walk around and punch the holes for them. They put the brad through the hole and then punched it into the paper. The top card was were they were to write the numerical expression. Each additional card was used for each of the different steps in the order of operation. I went through each step and worked this problem with them. The students really seemed to enjoy making these cute little swivel books, and I’m sure they will be handy for referencing if they ever have trouble with the order.

I know that the common practice is for teachers to teach the mnemonic “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally.” I usually do this, but last year on my order of operations post, I had a reader comment and post a link of an article about the bad of teaching that mnemonic. Their reasoning is basically because it makes students think that you go through and multiply every thing and then go through and divide, and the same with adding and subtracting. I completely disagree with the article’s thought on this. I think that mistake is made by students not because of the mnemonic, but just because it is one of those common mistakes that many students make. It is simply up to the teacher to discuss this over and over with their students. I always make a big deal about “doing whichever comes first.” Showing many examples and working several with your students will help eliminate this mistake.

Here is a whole picture of the journal entry for order of operations……

order of operations swivel book journal page


and the back side………

back of order of operations journal page


And here is a cute freebie graphic organizer that I made for you to use with your students. My students couldn’t understand why I used a snowman. They said that Christmas was over and was almost Spring, and I had to explain that snowmen are a part of winter and that winter just started. lol.  In my picture, I had misspelled parentheses. I corrected it for your download though. For some reason, I was thinking that it was spelled with an i (as in thesis).

Click on the graphic below to get your adorable order of operation build a snowman!

order of operations build a snowman


Here is the game that we will be playing on Monday to help reinforce our learning of the order of operations. It is a fun game I made that is in the theme of “Whack-a-Mole.” You can purchase the game here on my blog or in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

Whack an order of operations You can click here to go to my Teachers Pay Teachers Store or buy it here on my blog for only $2.50!

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I hope you enjoyed your break and are ready for the downhill ride! Soon we will be preparing for those lovely state tests!


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