Learn how to play Order of Operations War!
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Hi!  It's Brittney again from

I hope that you enjoyed our Equivalent Fractions Squares Game from the last email.  If you had a chance to play it with your students, I'd love to know how it went!  *Just hit "reply" to this email and let me know!*

Today I have another super easy-to-use game for you to use for practicing order of operations.  All you need to play is just a deck of cards and 6 index cards.  
How to play Order of Operations War:

Number of players: 2

1. Grab a deck of cards and remove all of the face cards (jacks, queens, kings, and jokers).  Shuffle the cards and deal them evenly between the two players.  The players may not look at their cards and must leave their cards in a pile facedown.

2. Grab 6 index cards and cut them into 12 halves.  Write + on 2 of the halves, - on two of the halves, x on two of the halves, ÷ on two of the halves, ( on two of the halves, and ) on two of the halves.  Give each player one card of each; each player gets +, -, x, ÷, ( and ), as shown below.
  • Note: If you want to play this game with younger students, you could remove the x and ÷ cards and the parentheses cards.
Object of the game: 
To be the player who collects all of the playing cards OR to be the player with the most playing cards in his/her hand after the final round.

Playing the game:
1. During the first round, the "target number" is 0.

2. At the same time, both players flip over the top three cards in their pile.

3. Each player arranges his/her cards to make an equation whose answer is as close as possible or equal to the "target number".  The player must insert two of his/her operations index cards and parentheses to show his/her equation, as shown below.  Aces represent the number 1.
4. Each player shares his/her equation and the answer to that equation.  The player whose answer is closest to the "target number" collects all 6 of the playing cards on the table and places them facedown on the bottom of his/her pile.
  • For example, in the image above, Player 1 created an equation whose answer is 2 and Player 2 created an equation whose answer is 1.  If the target number is 0, Player 2 wins because his answer is only 1 away from the "target number."
Note: If there is a tie, both players keep their own cards and place them facedown on the bottom of their piles.

5. The next round begins.  The "target number" for the next round is 1.  Players repeat the same steps, but this time try to create an equation that is as close as possible or equal to 1.

6.  Play continues with the "target number" increasing by one in each round.  The final round's "target number" will be 10.  

7. At the end of the final round, the player with the most cards in his/her hand is the winner.  If a player runs out of cards to play with (i.e. has less than 3 cards) at any point before the final round, the game is over and the person who collected all of the cards is the winner.

Are you ready to give Order of Operations War a try?   I hope that your students enjoy it!

Happy playing!
Looking for more practice for order of operations?  Check out these order of operations games from our store:
Games 4 Gains
Games 4 Gains
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