Fun end of the year activity for test prep and review! Want to increase critical thinking in your classroom? Magic Squares Puzzles are an exciting and engaging way for your students to practice a variety of concepts while developing their critical thinking and problem solving skills. How do you solve Magic Squares Puzzles? They are simple by design, but can be very challenging. Think of dominoes: you simply look for a match for each side of each square. For example, if one side says "mean” you will look for a square that says “nice” on it. However, each square must be matched on every side. This is where the challenge comes into play!
I have created three versions of the puzzle, with each version featuring a differentiated level of challenge. There are also several built-in strategies to support students who may need extra assistance when learning how to solve these puzzles. Each puzzle also contains a “teacher’s secret” for easy checking.
There are several great ways to use these puzzles. We often use them in our interactive notebooks, but I have also used them as games in centers, word work in Daily 5, guided reading groups, remediation, and for independent practice. To use in a center or for early finishers, copy onto cardstock, cut apart, and laminate. I also copy and laminate the blank mat for use in centers to help students visually see how to arrange the squares (some students have a very hard time with this at first!) Another great idea is to send the Magic Squares Puzzle home for homework. My students really love seeing if they can stump their parents with the puzzles. Perfect for a fun, back to school review!
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