How Oppia taught a Chapter of Expressions & Equations During Summer School (Day 2)

How Oppia taught a Chapter of Expressions & Equations During Summer School (Day 2)

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You can read about the first day here

On the 16th, there were 67 students in attendance. Students were between the ages of 8–14. We continued on the Topic — Expressions and Equations.

I did a revision of the first part of the “Order of Operations” lesson under “Expressions & Equations” to ensure that the students from the previous class still remembered what they were taught and that the new students could follow the lesson.

(Interactive Session with students answering Revision Questions)

Firstly, I asked them what the correct order of operations was and they all echoed “PEMDAS”! I asked them to spell “Parentheses” and to my surprise a good number of them got this right. I also asked “what does the ‘E’ in ‘PEMDAS’ stand for?” I heard “exponent” & “exponential”. After applauding them, I asked for the spelling and many children did not raise their hands (I suddenly remembered I didn’t give them this as a take home assignment)! However, we finally got the right spelling after a few tries!

(The PEMDAS slide)

The previous students blasted through it, while the new students were able to catch up and it was admirable.

Good Points

The students were eager to learn and although they knew the material well at the end of each lesson, there is still room for improvement as the learning process never stops. An example can be found below when we just learnt the Associative Law:

But then struggled to get the very next slide right:

Sharing this part of the lesson, I remember I had to stop and ask the children to say positive words like “I am smart, I am intelligent”. I particularly had to tell a student one time during the lesson that failure is part of life and just like in maths “corrections” help us understand better. After this, yes they did fail some more questions (but don’t we all as adults?) but they were bold about it, faced their challenges head-on, and subsequently succeeded. That for me was more than math, it was a valuable life lesson.

The students got along well with one another as some of them hung out together in their neighbourhood after school. I believe that this was a wonderful opportunity for them to get to know each other even better and bond over Oppia lessons in the future. The students were excited to be there and exerted themselves to the maximum. They asked lots of questions and tried really hard to understand what I was teaching.


The students found the course challenging. The topic was initially difficult for them to grasp as they had not learned about the Commutative and Associative laws before that day. The students that were not in the previous class initially had a little anxiety about understanding the lessons. However, I did take out extra time to ensure they understood the topic “Order Of Operations” and were carried along before continuing with the “Commutative and Associative laws” which is the second topic under Expressions and Equations.

Final Words

It took about a year to fully create the Expressions and Equations lesson and I’d like to shout out all the contributors that took time out of their busy schedules to ensure a child they have never met before, gets free education through Oppia.

This was a great course to teach the students about Expressions & Equations. They were very eager to learn and do their best to understand the material. There were challenges for the students, but these challenges were very exciting for them and they overcame them very well. This course was also a great experience for me. It has given me a renewed passion for volunteering, Edtech, and contributing to Free and Open Source Software. This passion will help me to achieve my personal goals and make a difference in the world. I would definitely recommend Oppia to other students.

Finally, doing what we do at Oppia can be very challenging sometimes, but it is stories like these that remind me of why I chose to contribute to Oppia when I discovered it via Outreachy, and I can say that it has been very rewarding.

Feel free to join us in making a difference across the globe by volunteering your time here or donating here. At Oppia, there are various opportunities to contribute ranging from UI/UX Design, UX Research, Go-To-market Strategies (Product Management), Devs Team (Coding), Art, Project Documentation, Lesson Creation & Translations!

There are endless opportunities at Oppia and anyone can fit in. So whatever you choose, be rest assured that you are making a positive impact in the lives of children across the globe.