This group activity is a fun and challenging way for students to practice computation, critical thinking and numeric reasoning. Students are asked to order a set of cards so that when the correct order of operations is used, the goal number is reached.
There are 3 levels of the activity to allow for differentiation:
Level 1 - all positive numbers, uses parenthesis
Level 2 - negative numbers, uses brackets and parenthesis
Level 3 - includes exponents (^) and square and cube roots
Each set has 10 problems.
To use, copy the desired set(s) onto card stock or laminate the pages. After cutting the cards, each question set should be placed in a labeled envelope or bag. Students then work to order the cards to create a numeric expression that equals the number on the grey background. After you have verified their solution, give the group a new set.
I love to use this activity on the first day of school to review prior knowledge and to learn how different students handle frustration and group work. I also use it as an extension throughout the year once students have finished the assigned work.
The original file is your answer key, as the cards are in order.