Teacher Tech blog with Alice Keeler

Paperless Is Not a Pedagogy

Alice Keeler

Math Puzzle, Get Students Thinking

math puzzles strategic thinking

Math Puzzle, Get Students Thinking

math puzzles strategic thinking

Math Puzzles, Get Students Thinking

Google Home was just introduced, this allows you to shout out questions to the universe and have the answer spoken back to you.

Google Home

Wouldn’t it be interesting to get a Google Home for the classroom so students could shout out “Ok Google, what is the perimeter of a square with a width of 7 and a height of 12?” If you can ask Google Home (or Google Search in general) a question and get the answer with a single search, that is evidence that it is not higher level thinking.

21st Century skills say we should emphasize critical thinking. Puzzles can be one way to get students using strategic thinking.

Ask Higher Level Thinking Questions

If you are not familiar with Robert Kaplinsky, you will want to check out his website. He provides a lot of great information on how to increase critical thinking (DOK levels) in math. Here is a post on how he got students struggling with DOK 1 tasks to be successful at DOK 3 tasks.

Puzzle Template


math puzzle in a spreadsheet

This came from a tweet by @Mr_Mathematics. As usual I thought… “This should be a spreadsheet!”

Spreadsheet Activity

The spreadsheet allows students to try different numbers to solve the puzzle. When all 4 of the sum/difference squares turn green the student has solved the puzzle. One reason I love using spreadsheets in math is the ability to use conditional formatting to self-grade.
spreadsheet conditional formatting

4 Puzzles

The spreadsheet has 4 different types of math puzzles. Each puzzle variation is on a different tab along the bottom.

look at the tabs at the bottom

New Puzzles

The 4 sample puzzles are just that, samples. These can make a great daily warm up for awhile if you change the numbers. On the last tab “Auto gen new puzzles” I have written some formulas to randomly generate puzzles. Jot down the green sum/difference numbers in the auto generated puzzle and replace the numbers on the puzzle tabs.

Auto generate more puzzles

Suggestion to delete the “Directions” tab and delete the “Auto gen new puzzles” before distributing to students.

5 Easy Steps for Teaching with Digital Tools

Introducing digital tools into your teaching can seem challenging at first. There are many tools out there, and it might feel like there’s a lot to learn. But with easy steps for teaching with digital tools, you can start simply and gradually. There’s no need to dive in all at once – just take it one step at a time. Taking easy steps for teaching with digital tools starts with trying something!

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Help Your Students Prepare to Present

Maximize student success in presentations with ‘Speaker Notes by AliceKeeler,’ the ideal Google Slides add-on. Enhance how students prepare to present with easy transfer of speaker notes to Google Docs, promoting effective communication skills. Dive into the world of engaging, technology-aided presentations and empower students to shine in their academic endeavors. Discover the key to transforming student presentations into interactive, skill-building experiences.

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Infographic 7 Basic Steps for a Google Form

New to using Google Forms? This tool is essential for teachers to not only save time but to be adaptive to student needs. Use Forms to survey students, play games, personalize instruction, and assessment. This infographic on the 7 basic steps for a Google Form will help you get started.

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Online Workshop: Get Your Add-on Published

How can you make Google Workspace (Docs/Sheets/Slides) even better? You can create custom Add-ons with Google Apps Script. Wondering How to Get Your Google Workspace Add-on Published? Join Alice Keeler, Google Developer Expert, to learn the steps to get your Add-on officially published.

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1 thought on “Math Puzzle, Get Students Thinking

  1. awnser is in the halves top left 3.5 top right 4.5 bottom left 9.5 bottom right 3.5.

    took me a moment but noticed it couldnt be solved with hole numbers

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