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A Puzzle a Day Provides Practice That Pays

Puzzles exercise students' critical thinking skills while providing needed practice in math, spelling, and other areas of the curriculum. Why not introduce a puzzle a day? Puzzles make great "bellringer" activities. A puzzle a day provides practice that pays! Included: A year of puzzles!

Puzzles are brain food! In the lessons below, Education World offers a "puzzle-a-day" plan -- with a full school year of puzzles for you to use with your students. The plan calls for introducing the following daily puzzles:

  • Monday: Seven-Letter Scrabble® Spell-Off
  • Tuesday: Operation: Math
  • Wednesday: Anagram Family Time
  • Thursday: It All Adds Up
  • Friday: Take-Your-Pick Puzzle

Besides being fun, these puzzle activities are full of educational content. They help exercise students' critical thinking skills, while developing and reinforcing math and language arts skills.

Below, you will find a yearlong resource for a daily puzzle time. You might plan a puzzle break for the same time every day. Puzzles also make great "bellringer" activities; they are an excellent tool for quieting students, giving them something to focus on when they arrive in the morning or come in after recess all wound up. Used in that way, the puzzles make a good segue to more serious learning.

You might want to chart student progress on the puzzles; because the skills required for this week of puzzles are so varied, every student is sure to shine on at least one day of the week.

A Puzzle a Day

Education World provides five puzzles. Click each of the five puzzle headlines below for a complete teaching resource. All the puzzles below are appropriate for all grades. Each puzzle plan includes a year of weekly puzzles appropriate for some grade levels and ideas for adapting the puzzle for other levels.

Seven-Letter Scrabble Spell-Off
How many words can students create with seven Scrabble® letters?

Operation: Math
Given a series of numbers and an answer, students figure out which math operations must be performed.

Anagram Family Time
In this puzzling activity, students unscramble four anagrams and figure out what the four words have in common.

It All Adds Up
Students exercise addition and thinking skills with number puzzles.

Take-Your-Pick Puzzle
Pick and choose from a wide range of ready-to-use online puzzles.

Go Figure

Be sure to check out our "Go Figure" archive of puzzles. Use these math-based puzzles, problems, and brainteasers as icebreakers, transition fillers, and ready-made math challenges -- to help answer the age-old kids' question: "Why do we need to learn Math?" Click here to go to our Go Figure puzzle archive