## Monday, August 6, 2012

### Made 4 Math Number Puzzle

I have a shelf in my classroom that has math games for those students who finish work early and need something to do. Krypto, Uno, 24 and Set are games that they can play with their classmates. A favorite activity of my students however is this number puzzle that is really easy to make and costs nothing. All you need is some construction paper and scissors  Fold your paper "hot dog" style and repeat so that you have 4 columns- then fold your paper "hamburger" style and repeat so that you end up with a total of 16 equal-sized sections on your numbered paper. Fill the sheet of paper with numbers 1-8 on both sides of your paper. There should be four of each number between the two sides. The school secretary does not like us to run construction paper through the printer so I just wrote out the numbers with magic marker front and back.

Now fold your paper in half hamburger style and make 3 vertical cuts along the inside creases of your puzzle- but only to that first horizontal crease...not all the way to the end! Once you have made your cuts it is easy to maneuver your paper by bending and folding one way and another to try to make a square showing all four of a certain number. I have completed solutions for one and two of the puzzle as an example for you below.

Students will work so quietly trying to find all eight of the possible solutions to this number puzzle. I like taking a few of these number puzzles along with me when we take state assessments in the computer lab. Keeps students busy and entertained when they finish testing before their classmates.

1. Wow!! Does it matter where they put the numbers? Is it always solveable? I'm thinking this might keep *me* entertained for hours too! :)

That is so cool! Reminds me of the hexa-hexa-flex-agon that I could never figure out :)

2. I have only made this version...and I know it works for all 8 of the numbers. It did take me a while to figure out 7 for some reason. It might be fun to see if students could come up with their own versions and try it out.

3. Thanks for this little gem. Totally using this!!

4. i have to try this...looks fun and I have to see how it workds!

1. This is a very cool number puzzle. It reminds me of a nice problem that I have used in class for problem solving where the students are asked to write the numbers 1-8 in an 8 box grid so that consecutive numbers are not touching in any direction including diagonally. The grid looks kind of like a hopscotch with one box on top in the middle, three boxes on the next row, three boxes on the third row and one box on the last row, again in the middle. There are four correct solutions to the problem. In addition to problem solving, it is nice review and reinforcement of the concept of consecutive numbers.
I am trying to make and solve your puzzle now. When you write the numbers on the reverse side, what is the orientation of the paper? I think there are at least three different ways to write the numbers on the second side. For example if 4 is in the bottom right hand corner on the front then 4 could be
1) in the bottom right hand corner of the back
2) in the bottom left hand corner of the back (I made it this way).
3) in the top right hand corner of the back
How did you make it?
Thanks for all your fantastic ideas!

5. If you tap on the number puzzle link above the order and position of the number is what I used on my puzzle. I have solved for all of the numbers so I know this works.

6. Great idea! I love this puzzle and am SO excited to hand this out to my Geometry students. I hope you don't mind, but I reformatted the document you posted and it's on my site. Again, this is AWESOME!! Love your blog.

http://schooloffisher.blogspot.com/

7. Hi Christy, do all the numbers need to be facing in the same direction? I am stuck on the 6s!!
Thanks

1. I have seen it completed both ways. I tell my students it counts either way.

8. Great! Thanks for sharing the information. That is very helpful for increasing my knowledge in this field.
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