Sunday, January 26, 2014

Monday Madness: Match Up Puzzles

This is the first post in the new series Monday Madness. Everybody loves Mondays, right?! Ha! Said no teacher EVER, right? When I have students to tutor on Mondays, I honestly have mixed feelings. It's great to get the week started right away, but quite frankly, these kids DO NOT want anymore "school" after a Monday back to school.

So, how do I remedy this situation? The answer is games. About 80-90% of my students are math students, and most of them are working on multiplication facts at any given time of the year. So I created these fun, interactive flash cards that kids actually WANT to practice. I typically use these as an icebreaker, or warm-up activity when I first arrive. Recently I've been making smaller sets and leaving them with my students to practice in between sessions.

Here's what my folder looks like:

I've designed 3 boards for each set of flashcards, and in this particular set I've included facts for times 2, 5, and 10. I have students at various levels, so I designed two sets of boards, one for facts through 9 and the other for facts through 16. I also made each set follow the same pattern, so each puzzle can be printed as backs for each set, giving me about 18 different combinations. Now my students aren't just memorizing each puzzle, they actually have to learn the facts!

Like I mentioned, these work great to break the ice in the first few minutes of a session. However, I like to asses the student's progress on the facts, so I designed small companion assessments (in the schools I hear they are calling these exit tickets). They are super short, and specifically related to the facts in each puzzle. I store them right in the front pocket of my folder.

If you think your students might like these puzzles, or you want to add them to your bag of goodies to beat the Monday Madness, head over to my store on!

What do you do to beat the Monday Madness? Sound off in the comments and I'll award a free copy of this activity to the most creative solution!


  1. Today we cooked breakfast! Sounds silly and I'm very much not a morning person, but my daughter made a mistake in a recipe today that led to a very fun math lesson to fix it. Kim- Life Over C's>

    1. I love it! There are so many opportunities for learning while cooking! You can even get some chemistry in there, try making oatmeal cookies mixing ingredients in the wrong order! My youngest learned that lesson a few weeks ago :)

  2. I have been using Word/Vocab sorts every Monday for a few weeks now. It's a hands-on activity that reviews content, vocab, or skills. We also frequently go to the gym for at least part of Monday during 1st period (PE teachers have planning) and do a group problem solving/team building activity. 7th graders definitely need some physical activity on Monday morning to wake up!

  3. Thanks! So cute! ...really great idea!!! I love little math puzzles. :-) Learn to read for free at Sight and Sound Reading:


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