This is an engaging, cooperative activity that encourages students to gain comfort with function notation while practicing order of operations.
Students will put the 12 cards in order by solving the problem on each card, and searching for the answer on the next card. A hidden message will be revealed if students do it right.
This activity is fabulous because it is self-checking. If students don't find their answer on another card, then they know they have made a mistake and they will be motivated to find the mistake and fix it. When students have complete the activity correctly, they know it because they will have figured out the secret message. This frees the teacher up from having to answer "is this right?', and instead circulate the room looking for misunderstanding.
This is a good introductory activity for function notation. The activity does contain exponents, such as:
if g(x) = 2x^2 + 1, find g(-2).