Thursday, March 31, 2011


I love love love puzzles! And I forgot all about this fun puzzle (not my original idea, but I cannot remember where it came from) until recently. I made some of these a few years ago, and we just pulled them out for our math strategies classes to review a few of the tested standards for the Kansas 10th grade math assessment.

Here is how it works:  You start with a template that looks like this, or you could make your own by creating a table in word.

Each border between shapes is used for a problem and answer, or two pieces of matching information. This one shows the names of properties and corresponding examples.

I usually tell students which piece goes in the middle, to help them begin.

Then students just have to match the edges like a puzzle.

I've written a few of these, and I have learned there is a ton of potential for varying the difficulty level.  You can write distracting answers along the outer edges to make it more challenging, or not.  You could tell students which piece goes in the middle to help them get started, or not.  You could white out the happy faces and write in different directions so that students don't know which side is "up".  You can repeat answers, or not. I recommend trying to solve the puzzle yourself before you give it to the students, though. The puzzles I wrote ended up having a lot of variation in difficulty without my even realizing.

Here is the template.

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