I created this activity about 10 years ago, and if you ask me, I’ll make it even better (except the original file is in ClarisWorks and can’t be edited.) But you see the idea: there are puzzles with blank numbers, and you cut out the ones on the side and figure out how to place them so they will “make sense.” I developed this activity for a class of mainstream kids who were struggling with addition and subtraction and were getting tired of endless, repetitive, mind-draining, mood-defeating drill n’ kill practice (can you blame them?) The idea was to have them practice the actual algorithm, but to use estimation and logic to solve the problem. Want to know something? They really enjoyed this activity, especially because it didn’t involve any writing (but it did involve cutting and pasting, and kids do love to cut and paste!)
I also liked the fact that I could ask my students what “made sense” and why certain numbers couldn’t go in certain places. For example, given ?? + ?? = 120, and 8, 2, 5, and 6 available, they knew that the 8 and 2 could not go in the tens place, because that would only make 100. Did I tell you that this activity is great for reinforcing place value as well?
So have fun with this! Let me know if you want me to make more, or better yet: have your students design some of their own and I’ll put them in this format!