If your students are anything like mine, they enjoy puzzles that involve strategy. They are hooked and don't even realize that they are practicing algebra skills because the puzzle presents it in a new and exciting manner.
Attached are six 4x4 grids filled with pictures that students will need to solve for. Along the 4x4 grid is the sum of those pictures. By assigning variables to the pictures, students can set up systems of equations to solve for each picture and then determine the missing row total. These puzzles lend themselves to be solved using the elimination method but can easily be adapted and solved through substitution as well.
I created these puzzles two months after teaching Systems of Equations. I wish I could've used them during my SOE unit but I have found them equally useful for students who finish tests or assignments early in class. This way students are still quiet and respectful of their peers who are still working but also still actively engaged in algebra.
I hope your students enjoy these as much as mine do! :)
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