Looking for a unique and fun mental math challenge for your kids to build number sense? This activity is easy to differentiate with multiple levels and the open ended design.
How fluent are your kids with math facts and computation skills? Do you want something fun and engaging, yet challenging for their mind when schools are closed? It’s important to keep up mental math skills like adding, subtracting and multiplication or they will be forgotten. It’s also a good workout for the brain to be challenged and to look for new strategies and build number sense as they try to work out different problems.
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What’s Included in the Download:
This collection of mental math challenges includes a variety so you can use this with multiple ages or easily differentiate.
First, you will find two addition and subtraction challenges.
Next, there are two challenges involving addition, subtraction and multiplication.
For older kids, there are two challenges involving addition and subtraction with integers (positive and negative numbers).
And if that’s not enough of a challenge, or your kids start to get bored with this, the download also includes a blank copy so that kids can design their own mental math challenge for friends or family.
How to Use the Mental Math Challenge:
On each challenge, the “starting number” is left blank, so you or your kids can pick a new number each time.
In this way, you can differentiate for different students using the same math operations by giving larger or more difficult starting numbers.
Although this is a “mental math” challenge, I have left spaces blank in between each operation so that they can write each answer down as they go (to keep track of where they are).
But all the math computing must be done in their head. 🙂
For an Added Challenge:
If these exercises are too easy for your middle or high school students, there is also a blank challenge card included.
You can use the blank page a couple of ways. First, you can create a page tailored to their specific needs, using larger numbers, more difficult computation or even fractions and decimals.
Or you can give the blank page to your students they can create their own to challenge each other.
Another GREAT challenge for any age is to give them a blank page and see if they can create their own challenge that will always end with the same number (meaning, whatever you choose for your starting number will be your final answer, no matter what number you choose).
This is a great introduction to algebraic thinking and operations.
(HINT: The key to that is to make sure every operation you write in the path gets “canceled out” or “undone” somewhere. So if you start with “add 5”, somewhere along the way you also have to have “subtract 5.”)
I hope these are fun and helpful! 🙂
If your kids love a fun and unique math challenges, they may also love this set of hands on logic puzzles using pattern blocks! This huge collection will keep their brains busy for hours!
If you’re looking for logic puzzle challenges for older kids, try this collection. A Year of Logic Puzzles includes fun themed grid and sudoku puzzles for the entire year, for ages 9+.
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