Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Algebra 1: Solving Equations Puzzle

Here is a puzzle activity for reviewing equation solving. I found that it worked better when I made an answer mat for students to put their pieces onto (I indicated a couple of pieces on the mat to help them align the rest of their pieces).

Here are two files in Pages and Word that you can work from to make your own.

A comment from David Wees in a previous post with a similar puzzle I did for quadratics:

Yeah your puzzle is cool. So cool that I've created a random generator in Adobe Flex.

See my algebra puzzle generator.


Edit 2:
There is an app called Formulator Tarsia that will do this, but it only works for Windows (which I don't have access to) so I haven't tried it out. Give it a try!


Terry Kaminski said...

Did you use and special software to create the solving equations puzzle?

Dan Wekselgreene said...

Hi Terry. No, not really. I used Pages from the iWork suite of programs, and MathType for the equations. In the past, I've made a similar puzzle just using Word (but it was a lot easier to manage in Pages, in page layout mode). I can upload the Pages file if you're interested - I just figured most people don't have access to it.

Kim Hughey said...

Thanks for the activity! Hope you don't mind, but I am stealing it for this Friday (day before Halloween). I promised them we'd do something fun.

Dan Wekselgreene said...

Don't mind at all. I hope they enjoy it. It's too bad I made it "say the abc's backwards"... should have been *sing* them backwards. :)

Dan said...

I've had students create their own puzzles like this as an alternative assessment. It takes a bit to check but requiring the work on another sheet of paper helps speed it along.

Yes, they turn in hand written work.

Make sure to keep a copy that is intact so it is easy to check whether or not students have the puzzle solved correctly.

Dan Wekselgreene said...

Dan, that reminds me of something I've wanted to try but never gotten around to... teaching students how math teachers come up with problems, and then having them practice making their own problems. I wonder if this would help my students who still don't quite get how to solve equations, or if it would be even more confusing. I'll have to try this in an upcoming reteaching lesson.

How do you go about teaching students to create their problems?

Riley Lark said...

I used this in my class with great success. Thanks!

Converter said...

This is an interesting activity.solving equation with variables on both sides is difficult one but if puzzles are created like this then it became an interesting activity.

Anonymous said...

What is the answer to the riddle?

Michelle Burton said...

Thanks for posting this - I had used something similar years ago with a fractions review. We have a week of review coming up ... just might be the ticket before the midterm exam!

Unknown said...

On the puzzle it says"after you finish the puzzle turn it over for a tasty treat". What are you referring to?
Thank you!