The Order of Operations Bowling Game

Here’s a game we played today in grade 7, to practice and apply the notion of order of operations – that when you have a string of operations to perform, it matters in what order you apply those operations.  It’s a bowling game. The goal of the game is to “knock down” as many of the 10 bowling pins as you can, by creating number sentences from 3 digits rolled at random by the kids.  Students can use any operation, even exponents and brackets to create a true statement for each of the numbers.  This is a fun and engaging game – and students will work hard to practice and apply their understandings of “BEDMAS” or “PEDMAS” to get a “strike”… We did today – knocking down all ten pins with equations created with only the digits 1, 2 and 5!


The game comes from Marilyn Burns’ website ( where she features sample lessons drawn from her extensive collection of teacher resource books – all free.  The tasks range from k-8 or 9 and are conceptual and fun.  Check them out at her site: Lessons from the Classroom



One response

  1. Thank you for sharing this game, I am going to try and adapt it for my 2nd graders to play.

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