Can you make statements equal to all the numbers 0 to 20 by using just four fours? Brackets, multiplication, division, addition and subtraction are allowed for starters. When they start getting stuck you can introduce other operators such as square roots, factorial etc. Can you make all the numbers up to 100?
My year 7s had a good go at it this week, writing their answers collectively on the board:
I made a worksheet for the investigation that you can download here (Microsoft Word).
BIDMAS Bodge Ups
To get pupils evaluating answers to BIDMAS statements you can give them some incorrect ones based on common misconceptions and get them to identify the mistakes and correcting them. Here is a booklet I made (in Microsoft Word) that covers 5 common BIDMAS misconceptions. The last one is to get across the importance of showing workings otherwise nobody knows what you have done wrong…
BIDMAS Quiz Quiz Swap
This is a nice activity to promote focussed learning discussion in a BIDMAS lesson. Download the Microsoft Word file here and print and cut out the cards. Give each pupil one of the cards. They then quiz each other with the questions on their cards, making sure they cover the answer at the bottom of their card with their hand when they ask the question. The answers are included so they can then know if they need to have discussion if they get it wrong. The idea is that if they got the answer wrong they have a discussion between the two of them to understand why it was wrong. This leads on nicely from the BIDMAS Bodge Ups activity where they spent time identifying and correcting errors. After they have answered the questions on each other’s cards and had a learning conversation if they got them wrong, they swap cards and go find another person to quiz quiz swap with. The idea is that learning travels around the room from pupil to pupil.