(38 ❑ 31) ❑ 33 = 36 33 ❑ (24 ❑ 32) = 801 (34 ❑ 22) ❑ 28 = 776 (39 ❑ 23) ❑ (33 ❑ 38) = 80 
Which operation (plus, minus, times or divide)
does each red box represent?
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Note to teacher: Doing this activity once with a class helps students develop strategies. It is only when they do this activity a second time that they will have the opportunity to practise those strategies. That is when the learning is consolidated. Click the button above to regenerate another version of this starter from random numbers.
Note that the interactive student version would be better if your students have access to technology.
There is a printable worksheet to go with this activity.
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Teacher, do your students have access to computers such as tablets, iPads or Laptops? This page was really designed for projection on a whiteboard but if you really want the students to have access to it here is a concise URL for a version of this page without the comments: Transum.org/go/?Start=December9 However it would be better to assign one of the student interactive activities below. 

Here is the URL which will take them to a structured online missing operations exercise.
Here is the URL which will take them to an exercise on the order of operations which is a prerequisite skill:
BIDMAS is an acronym reminding students of the order of operation used when evaluating expressions involving a number of different operations. The letters of BIDMAS stand for:
When only addition and subtraction (or only multiplication and division) are left in an expression work them out in the order you find them, starting from the left and working towards the right.
See the National Curriculum page for links to related online activities and resources.