A few of the mysteries in my Math Mystery range are structured differently by following a 5 W's Case File Format. These are particularly useful for younger students or special needs. In this post:
NEW 5 W's LOGO LABEL ON COVERS
To enable you to quickly identify if a math mystery follows this 5 W's structure, I've added a new little logo somewhere on the covers. If this is the type of math mystery structure you would prefer to use with your kids, keep an eye out for this little image below:
GRADE LEVEL GUIDES
The grade levels are marked for recommended age ranges because of the math involved within the mystery packet. Unlike the regular math mystery range, because these tend to focus on early learning skills, they can be used across K-2 depending where your students are at. For example, in the Case of the Great Zoo Escape, the packet focuses on addition and subtraction within 20. This is a skill that would be useful for both first and second graders to practice and build fluency. The packets marked for Kindergarten, contain basic numeracy skills, and would be great for the early part of first grade too. Even with the grade guides, I still recommend checking the math skills required in the product description to determine suitability for your students since no class is the same.
For some younger students, the elimination process in my regular math mystery range is a little bit too much. This is where these packets come in handy; if you still want the fun element of a mystery, but in a less stressful format for your little detectives.
Instead of the usual list of suspects/locations/scenarios, in the 5 W's series, that page is replaced with a case file with five questions to be answered - Who, Where, When, What, and Why? (see image below).
Each clue requires some math work and some ELA work to solve which of the options at the bottom need to be cut/pasted to the Case File.
âBelow is an example from the Case of The Super Bad Superhero:
As you can see in the clue example page above, there are five options at the bottom of the page. Students must complete the math activity to figure out what is the super power of the super bad superhero. Once solved, the student must cut out the super power and paste it onto their Case file page in the 'What - Clue 2' box.
Reading and explaining the instructions at the top is recommended for the early years, especially if using with Kindergarten.
Tip: Guide them through each clue to keep the whole class at the same pace.
CHECK OUT A FULL MATH MYSTERY IN THIS 5 W's FORMAT FREE!
I like to offer samples of my work to help you know whether it is something that you are interested in, or if it works for your class.
CLICK HERE to find where to download the 'Case of the Super Bad Superhero' for Kindergarten, using this 5 W's format.
If you've found the other math mystery structures too difficult for your students, then you may prefer this alternative.
Your feedback on this structure would be most appreciated. I will be making more using this 5 W structure for the early years too. If you prefer this format, keep an eye out for the little logo on the cover to know that it follows that format.
If you use Math Mysteries, however hate the amount of paper that is required with all of the photocopying, you may like to try this reusable idea to save paper in the long run.
A bit more prep is required at the start, but then a simple wipe and store away is required for the next time you want to use the case.
- Copies of the mystery pages (story, suspect list, clue pages, and the optional declaration page). Decide how many copies of a single case you would need at a time.
- Laminating pouches + a Laminator
- Manila 'Case File' Folders. One folder for each mystery set.
Now your case files are ready for use!
Complete the mystery using a washable marker as in the image examples below:
Once the mystery is solved, grab a damp cloth or a bit of water on some paper towel/tissues to wipe all of the pages clean.
Let the pages dry and put back into the folder. The mystery is ready to be used again.
While the initial prep for this requires a little bit more effort, the extra step is worth it if you are trying to save on ink and paper in the long run.
In the sample images, I used the Math Mystery 'Case of the Super Bad Superhero.' Download this fun Math Mystery resource for FREE HERE!
What is a Math Mystery?
What is a Math Quest?
It begins with a story, both video hook and written versions of the story included in all quest packets. Check out a video hook intro below for 'Raiders of the Lost Egg.' The Video Hook presents the start of the story, designed to set the stage to engage your students. When the video hook ends, is when students must continue the story on the paper part of the activity beginning at 'Chapter 1.'
Access the Video Library to find and freely view all Math Quest Video Hooks. Look for the Math Quests header and click through titles underneath to view.
The rest of the story is a paper and pencil activity that continues in 'chapters.' Each chapter reveals the next part of the story, posing a math task to complete. Once the math task is complete, students may progress to the next chapter. See a sample page below from 'Redbeard's Rebellion' - Chapter 2 - 'Medium' Level Version.
Each chapter will pose a different type of math challenge, involving one or a mix of skills. I've tried my best to set these pages up to make checking answers quick and easy for the teacher. For example, in the image above, the teacher would need to check if the student chose the correct direction. Also, the added totals for each wheel will give a better indication whether the student just 'guessed' or did the calculations correctly.
Sample Page - CHAPTER 2 EASY LEVEL from
'ESCAPE MONSTER MANSION'
There are lots of different ways these chapters are presented to keep students interested and challenged.
The final chapter of each Math Quest will present some choices for actions to take in the story. Students make their choice and then complete the math in that section, carrying out instructions to receive a 'special number.' If they do the math correctly, the special number will match up to their ending of the story on the final page. Four alternate endings to receive! See sample below:
Final Chapter from 'The Heartless Queen' HARD LEVEL
The 'NUMBER TOTAL' in their box chosen is a special number that they will need to use on the next page to discover their story ending. If they cannot find their special number, then they know they've made an error and must go over their calculations again.
You would need to keep the story ending page hidden until a student has their special number ready.
Suggestion: You could hide the endings page in an envelope and ask students only to go and check once they have a special number ready.
Sample Endings page from'The Terrible Turkey Take Over.'
As you can see in the sample endings page above, there are little images paired with each paragraph. Like in a game this is the 'item' they receive upon completing the quest (image only).
If students want to go back to achieve a different ending, you could allow that as long as they complete the math in the box for it.
There are early finisher worksheets included with each packet. Students can continue the quest fun with these simple extra activities while waiting for others to finish. Please see a sample below from 'School Jungle Jam.'
What DO I USE MATH QUESTS FOR?
Math quests are great to use for:
Preparation and Set-Up
You may have noticed that I marked the sample pages with 'EASY' 'MEDIUM' and 'HARD.' That is because each Math Quest is available in three modes of difficulty. The story is the same, but the math and puzzle difficulty changes.
You can differentiate this activity in your class by giving out different levels of the same quest.
The chapters are interchangeable, which means you can adjust the difficulty for certain chapters.
See example below from 'Reindeer Roundup - Chapter 1.'
There is nowhere marked on a student page easy, medium, or hard. So, unless you tell them, your students won't know what level they have. The pages are 'symbol' coded so that only teachers know what the level of difficulty is.
If you own the differentiated bundle of a math quest, you will have all the levels available for that quest ready to pick and swap as you wish. Otherwise, individual levels are available for separate purchase.
Math Quest - OVER THE RAINBOW FLASH FREEBIE!!!
As promised at the start of this post, I'd make a full differentiated Math Quest FREE for ONE WEEK! Don't miss out on a chance to download 'OVER THE RAINBOW' and try a Math Quest out to see if you and your students like this type of activity. All three levels are included within the differentiated packet so that you can also try 'swapping' chapters.
Because of the leprechaun and pot of gold theme, 'Over the Rainbow' can be incorporated with a St. Patrick's Day theme. However, this is still fine to use any time of the year, especially at the end of the year. So print, copy, and there's a fun activity you can do with your class tomorrow.
Your feedback on this resource would be appreciated.
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THIS RESOURCE.
Please note: After one week, the price of this product will return to $7.95
Did you like this Math Quest?
If you like this product, you may wish to bundle and save with the COMPLETE MATH QUEST BUNDLE below. All levels are included at a super discounted price.
What you will need:
Step 2: Make A Graph
Step 3: Share & Reflect
At the end of a math lesson I like to take a few minutes to share and reflect. Invite students to share their nature hunt results with the class by presenting their graphs. Encourage students to ask the presenter questions such as:
I hope your kids enjoy this activity.
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Here's another fun graphs activity that you may also like . . .
Engage and motivate your students to practice and review graph skills with this fun Math Mystery, the 'Case of The Greedy Gnome!'
Students will be required to complete tasks involving graphs to unlock important clues that will help them solve the case.
An optional video hook is available to set the stage to engage.
Click your grade level to learn more about each resource packet.
Not sure what a math mystery is? Do you want to know more about how to use them? Check out the video below.
You may also like to read this blog post
'Five Easy Ways to Use Math Mysteries in your Classroom.'
Still not sure if a math mystery is something you want? Try a full FREE math mystery available to download from my TPT Shop. The link will redirect you to where you can download the multi-grade bundle. It is free to register if you don't have a login with TPT.
Planning a week filled with Easter activities that are fun and yet still educational? Well, here is another free resource that you can add to your collection for your math sessions this week.
These Easter 'What's the question?' cards are great to help your students create their own Easter themed math word problems.
How to use
There are 30 cards in this set. Hopefully, that should be enough for at least one card per student. If you have more than 30 students, you’ll need to either make an extra set of cards OR pair students for the activity (one card per pair).
Students pick one card at random and keep their card a secret. On the blank card (or piece of paper) they must create a math word problem that will equal to the answer on the card that they have. For example, “The answer is 3 bunnies” – They know that the math question they make must equal 3 and be bunnies.
Once they finish writing their word problem, they must write their name on the back and either hand back to you, place in a box or get ready to swap with another student.
Give the student made word problems (at random from a box or swapped) to other students. Each student must solve the problem given, and then find the creator of it to see if they answered correctly. Alternatively, you could complete the questions as a class and ‘check in’ with the maker of the word problem to see if it was answered correctly by everyone.
CLICK HERE to download for FREE from my TPT Store.
If you like this, you may be interested in some of my other resources.
Browse my growing FREE resource Library HERE.
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Check out this new Easter Reading Activity available in my TPT store now!
Easter Reading Mystery - Once Upon a Crime, Easter EGGpocalypse!
Easter Reading Mystery: Once Upon A Crime, Easter 'EGGpocalypse.'
NO PREP, just print and go!
- The main goal in this mystery is to encourage reading.
- The work involved to solve the clues covers skills such as comprehension, spelling, vocabulary, synonyms, cause and effect statements, that work with the reading passages.
- The discovery format requires a fill in the missing letter process to unlock clues.
- Reading the text is required to be able to solve the missing letters in words, sentences and statements.
- Each clue requires students to critically think to decide which suspects they can eliminate from their suspect list. The last suspect remaining is who is responsible for the Easter Eggpocalypse.
All of the reading passages are included in this original story that features your 'student detective' as the hero throughout.
With Easter nearby, I thought it would be fun to do a little number mystery with a simple egg twist! Use this idea as a:
The prep is easy, and I have already put together some clues sets for you to use if you wish. Continue reading to find the free download for this activity.
The AIM is for students to use the clues given to solve which egg is the Mystery Egg! The clues will require them to use their number skills to eliminate possible eggs until there is only one egg left standing. The last egg remaining is the ‘Mystery Egg!’
They will only get one crack at picking the right egg. So they must read the clues carefully and be confident about their answer before opening an egg or telling you which egg they think is the right one.
CLICK HERE to download this freebie from my Teachers Pay Teachers Store.
Looking for more Easter Math Activities & Challenges that will engage and challenge your class?
Easter Math Mystery: Case of The Rotten Eggs
Easter Math Quest: Raiders of The Lost Egg
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A 21st century School Teacher, Mother, and Wife.
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