Math = Love: November 2019

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Playing Card Puzzler

It's a lazy Saturday morning that is turning out to be lazier than I had initially planned since I'm currently stuck on the couch with a sleeping baby on top of me. That means it's the perfect time to share another puzzle that my students tackled recently on our magnetic puzzle wall (AKA dry erase board).

This "Playing Card Puzzler" is from The Little Giant Encyclopedia of Puzzles by The Diagram Group (affiliate link). This is the same puzzle book that the Eight Lettered Squares puzzle was also found.  

Students are given six playing cards and three clues which are to be used to arrange the playing cards in the correct order.  You could definitely use actual playing cards for this puzzle, and that would probably be perfect if you are like me and have decks of cards in your classroom that are unfortunately no longer complete. I just ended up using playing card clip art and laminating the cards.

Several of my students tackled this puzzle over the course of a week in my classroom. Several were confused by some of the language of the puzzle, but I think that is just a result of their being unfamiliar with how logic puzzles are traditionally written.

Want the file to download this puzzle to use in our own classroom? I have uploaded it here

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Squaring Off Puzzle

Thanksgiving Break is here, and I am oh so grateful for these few days off. This year has felt like one long learning curve as I figure out what life looks like as a teacher, wife, and mother of an almost seven month old who definitely keeps me on my toes these days. When I first started blogging, people would often leave comments wondering where I had the time. I now completely understand this sentiment. So, instead of making more excuses about why I don't have time to blog these days, let's write a quick blog post!

One of my goals last year was to post a different magnetic puzzle on my dry erase board each week. I did post some magnetic puzzles, but I only ended up changing them out every few months or so. This summer, when my kiddo was still a newborn who liked to sleep so mom could get some work done, I typed up a bunch of new magnetic puzzles. This year, I haven't been perfect at changing out my magnetic puzzle every week, but the most time a single puzzle has stayed up on the dry erase board has been probably two weeks. I consider this a SUCCESS!

This past week, my students tackled a puzzle called "Squaring Off" from The Ultimate Clever Puzzle Book (affiliate link). This is the same puzzle book where I found the Big Magic Puzzle I shared earlier. The book is out of print, but you can find used copies available on Amazon. It's also free to borrow from's Virtual Library, but you may have to wait awhile if it's checked out since there's only one copy and each person can keep it for a maximum of two weeks.

The task involves students arranging four given rectangular pieces to create a perfect square. The pieces can be rotated, but they may not be overlapped.

My students' one complaint about this puzzle was that it was too easy. Since they often have to revisit a puzzle multiple times across the course of a puzzle to solve it, I think they were shocked when they figured it out on their first attempt!

Want the files to print your own copy of this puzzle? I have uploaded it here.