Math Whiz, I’m Not!

When people think about their favorite subject matter to teach, most would tell you about something they are passionate about themselves. That’s not the case for me. In my classroom, I have really enjoyed teaching Math despite the fact that I am neither a whiz in the subject nor passionate about it. After getting through the basic four operations, teaching students how to solve an equation with several different operations (PEMDAS) is always fun for me.

My favorite part of the lesson is PEMDAS Bingo. After going through the process and doing some practice, students are given a card and asked to fill it in with numbers of their choice according to column (B is for 1-10, I is for 11-20, etc.). This introduces some randomness to the game, but because the students choose their own numbers, any blame for losing is on themselves. The teacher writes down an expression for each number (1-50), or you can find some on the internet (saves a lot of time!). Then, the teacher will draw them out of a hat and write the expression (don’t write the answer) on the board or reveal it via media. Students must find the value of the expression and circle that number on their card if they have written it. A student wins if they have 5 consecutive numbers (horizontal, vertical, or diagonal).

Having small incentives for the winner adds some intensity to the game, and the students really get into it!

Author: Mr. Matt Savill

I am an American citizen in my seventh year of teaching in Korea.

2 thoughts on “”

  1. This is an awesome activity, Matt! What a great idea! The cool thing about this activity, is that the game structure exists as a motivator, but the kids need to engage and focus on the mathematics in order to succeed. Very curriculum content rich activity, and a great way to assess student learning as the game is played. Fantastic!


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