6.EE.A.3 Distributive Property & Combining Like Terms Puzzle

Rated 4.68 out of 5, based on 25 reviews
25 Ratings
Amy Harrison
Grade Levels
5th - 7th
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • PDF
14 pages
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Amy Harrison

What educators are saying

My students enjoyed this activity in small group, they started a competition to see who cold finish first.
My students used this resource in a math center. They enjoyed it and it is helpful that it is self-checking so that students can monitor their work. Thank you!
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This engaging puzzle is a unique way to review combining like terms and the distributive property with positive numbers.

This is a great way to practice the Core Standard 6.EE.A.3!

This puzzle has two versions - a full page size version and a half page size version that will fit perfectly into your interactive math notebook!

Students LOVE puzzles. Compared to a traditional worksheet, a puzzle is MUCH more fun and engaging. Puzzles force our students to think, whether they want to or not!

Not only will your class have fun, but you don't need to prep! Just print and go - Easy! Give yourself a break!

To solve the puzzle, students will simplify each expression by combining like terms and using the distributive property, and match it with the equivalent expression on another piece.

Try using this puzzle in a math station when you are doing rotations. Cut out the pieces ahead of time and laminate them to save time.

How Can You Use this activity?

  • Independent Practice
  • Group (or Partner) Work
  • At Home Practice
  • Assessment
  • Review

Some Tips:

  • The text is read along the outside of the triangle. If you rotate your triangle, you will easily be able to read all of the text right side up.
  • For every spot that the triangles match up, the equation and answer must match up.
  • When two triangles (or a triangle and a rectangle) are touching (share a side), they must be a match.

How to solve the puzzle:

  • Simplify each expression.
  • Match up expressions with their equivalent expressions.
  • When matches are found, place the puzzle pieces and work on the next part.
  • Make sure that all shared lines represent the same value.
  • Once everything matches up, you are finished! Congrats!
  • Glue puzzle pieces on worksheet.

What can you do about early finishers?

Give students some blank triangles. Once they have finished the puzzle, they can continue the puzzle with equations and answers of their own. See who can add on the most triangles before time expires. *BONUS: You can now use these cards in the future.*

Specific Ways to Use This Activity:

  • Option 1: Use this activity to mix things up! Print the puzzle and worksheet. Then, have students complete the puzzle, glue it on the worksheet, and turn is as an assignment. There is an optional worksheet that will help your students get organized. Later, you can display these assignments.

  • Option 2: Print, cut out, and laminate the puzzle pieces. Then, store in plastic baggies. Distribute to students in groups to solve the puzzle. See who can solve it the quickest!

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Total Pages
14 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
40 minutes
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Apply the properties of operations to generate equivalent expressions. For example, apply the distributive property to the expression 3 (2 + 𝘹) to produce the equivalent expression 6 + 3𝘹; apply the distributive property to the expression 24𝘹 + 18𝘺 to produce the equivalent expression 6 (4𝘹 + 3𝘺); apply properties of operations to 𝘺 + 𝘺 + 𝘺 to produce the equivalent expression 3𝘺.


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