My classes that were ahead of my other classes were given the chance to "Maximize the Sum." This is yet another puzzle that I found in

*Puzzle Box*,

*Volume 3*(affiliate link). Yes, I know I seem a bit obsessed with this series of puzzle books. I promise it is for good reason!

My students had a hard time understanding these rules despite reading them (at least I think they read them!) and my going over the rules at least twice.

I printed off the puzzles and slid them each into a dry erase pocket (affiliate link) so that students could easily change their circled numbers after finding the sum.

I had students yell out their sums as they found them, so that students would know what the "sum to beat" was. My students ended up coming up with a higher sum than the answer key at the back of the book said, so I'm pretty confident we maximized the sum.

When I solved this puzzle, I found it very interesting that my first and second approaches to the puzzle which I thought would maximize the sum actually didn't! This puzzle didn't take my students very long at all. We were completely done with the puzzle in less than five minutes. So, this one is great if you are short on time!

I've uploaded the file for this puzzle here. I can't recommend checking out the Puzzle Box books (affiliate link) enough for other puzzles to use in your classroom!

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