These twelve self-checking number line riddles focusing on interpreting number lines using whole number intervals are a great resource for classwork, centers, or homework. My kids love doing riddles like these (though I think what they love even more is telling me how corny the jokes are). I, of course, love being able to quickly grade an entire stack of papers!
• 12 self-checking puzzles
• answer key for each puzzle
About the Puzzles
These twelve puzzles were designed to build students’ flexibility with whole number number lines. Each sheet features eight number lines marked with lettered points. The students have to identify the whole number that each lettered point represents, and then place those letters on numbered blanks to reveal the answer to a joke.
The first six puzzles use only numbers less than 100, while puzzles 7 through 12 use numbers in the hundreds. All of the number lines on these puzzle sheets use 1, 2, 5, 10, and 20 as intervals. None of the number lines have the two endpoints labeled, but all of them have two consecutive or near points labeled so that the interval can be reasoned. Students then have to use the interval to work forwards or backwards to figure out the value of the labeled points. The number lines purposefully vary from the traditional “0 to 100”, and the intervals do not all fall on the related multiples (e.g., a number line with intervals of 10 might use the numbers 38, 48, 58, etc., rather than 30, 40 and 50). This was done purposefully to force students to think outside the box and do a little more reasoning than they might otherwise do and to make them think more flexibly about number lines.
Using the Puzzles
There are many ways in which you can use these puzzles pages. Since the puzzles all use different numbers but similar formatting, you might do one or two together, have students work in pairs on another one or two, and do the rest on their own. The riddles can be used as center work, drill, classwork, assessment, or homework. The riddle pages have a range of 8 to 16 numbers to identify, so none of them should take very long to complete, and keys are included for all twelve, so scoring should not take too long either! [Though since these are self-checking, your grading workload should be light ☺]
Looking for more practice with number lines or number relationships? Check out:
Line ‘Em Up reasoning about number lines task cards + printables (set a)
Snow Bonds: +, –, x, and ÷ number relationships task cards & printables (set a)
Let's Operate: vocabulary of mathematical operations task cards & printables set
I hope your students enjoy these resources and are able to build their proficiency with number lines and number relationships. – Dennis McDonald