*Looking for something to challenge your students before summer break? Here's a great end of the year activity. This product is a PDF file download that includes 32 pre-algebra puzzle task cards, a student recording sheet, answer key, and teacher's guide.
*The purpose of this product is for students to build flexibility with algebraic thinking by solving puzzles. It is designed primarily for 6th grade students, but can be used with advanced 5th graders. Once students get the hang of it, the puzzles can be lots of fun. They are challenging at first as students learn to manipulate the numbers in their head or on paper. Be patient and allow students to play with the numbers. They are practicing isolating variables, substituting, checking answers for accuracy, reasoning with quantities, balancing, and so much more! Pre-algebra puzzles are great for gifted learners.
*The puzzles can be used as task cards in a math station, partner work for problem solving and building communication skills for ELLs, whole group as a problem of the day, in small groups to build algebraic thinking skills, as a scoot game, and so much more! If you need a quick grade, plop a set of 4 on your projector and provide time for students to solve the puzzles.
*Instructions for solving the puzzles are in the teacher's guide. I do not share these with students initially because I want them to problem solve, but the instructions come in handy if you get stuck and need to guide a student.
NEED MORE CHALLENGING TASK CARDS TO BUILD ALGEBRAIC THINKING SKILLS?
*Check out this set of 72 adding/subtracting decimals task cards using strip/tape diagrams. Students have to develop the equation to make the diagram correct using addition and subtraction. Make 'em think!