November 2019: PEMDAS Partner Challenge

Would you believe that this whole equation equals one?

It’s true! This is an order of operations problem created by fifth graders, Maryn and Jack, who, along with their classmates, took part in the PEMDAS Partner Challenge. Students were given tiles with the digits 0-9 and all the operations symbols and parentheses they needed. Then it was up to them to use as many of those digits as they could to create a complex problem with a simple target answer (in this case, one!). In several problems, including the one above, students were able to use all of the digits and a variety of operations from addition to exponents. In completing the challenge, students exercised flexible thinking, cooperation, listening skills, creativity, and teamwork. Way to go, 5s!