The Four Fours activity asks students to discover how one can combine four fours (surprise) and any mathematical symbols (+, -, /, x, exponents, parentheses, factorials, etc) to reach the whole integers listed on the chart. Nearly everybody loved it, and each student could gain a small victory when he or she reached a number.
This student used five fours, didn't follow PEMDAS, and discovered her mistake afterward... but was so excited I couldn't help but share it. She was discovering patterns and her own ability to manipulate numbers to reach a desired end. Pretty big deal.
Here's the correct way if you REALLY want to know.
0 + 4 x 1
0 + 4
(3-3) + 3 x (3 / 3)
0 + 3 x 1
0 + 3
- JMF (the teacher)