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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With the growing trend for children to use tablets, PCS and other types of computers for entertainment, it is no wonder that the common math lesson or worksheet may not exactly excite them, let alone grab their attention. Whether we love or hate the fact that computer type games are a large part of our student's lives, we can’t change the reality that it exists and is almost always available at their fingertips outside of school hours. As teachers, we are faced with the challenge to constantly come up with innovative and fun ways to engage our students. Some days we might nail it and others we don’t. Then there are some students who are continuously reluctant to get on board with their work; we may not always have the right technology at hand to use for that type of lesson; so what’s a tired teacher to do? You’ve tried many tricks, felt like you’ve encouraged and praised lots, yet, still no luck? In this post, I will share with you an activity that will engage even some of your most reluctant learners. I’ll also explain why you should try it, before dismissing it as another ‘gimmick.’
What Sort of activity engages learners?
So, back to the wonderful world of gaming that plays a part in many of our students every day lives. Why is it so addictive? Leveling up, gaining experience, earning ‘brag titles’ or special items. These games that our students play frequently give them a sense of purpose, and achievement. Whether it is passing a difficult level, conquering a challenging boss or solving a mind-boggling puzzle, most games have one thing in common, and that is a purpose and a reward. As a gamer myself, I could see how games easily hook kids into this world and can also be addictive. I’m totally guilty of falling into a Candy Crush craze to only realize that I was actually upset my lives were over, and I had to wait before I could attempt a level again. This was when I thought to myself if only I could get my students to be this addicted to math or reading in class. How awesome would it be to have them feel sad that math was over just like when lives were over on a game like Candy Crush?
Well, yes we can play games. I'm sure we all do that at some point in our classrooms. But, what about the pencil and paper activities? Is it possible to make the good old math worksheet as fun as a game?
YES, it can be done!
“My class loved this activity! They enjoyed math and wanted to know if there were other activities like this to finish! Will continue to use in the future!” Wendy Y. July 29, 2017 (Case of The Super Bad Superhero)
“This was AWESOME. My 3rd graders were HOOKED with the video and worked quietly and diligently for an hour trying to rescue the groundhog. The best compliment to you from one of my sweet kids..."can we do another one for Valentine's Day" Yes, yes we can!” Melissa H. February 4, 2018 (Case of The Kidnapped Groundhog)
“Students are HIGHLY engaged when working on this task. The hardest thing is getting them to stop! Thanks” Basic Ideas February 4, 2018 (Case of The Selfish Elf)
The Math Mysteries in my range follow a similar concept as a game, there’s a purpose in every story along with the exciting opportunity for discovery and reward. Students don’t even realize how much math they are doing in some of the clues because they are so focused on discovering important information to crack the case. The process of eliminating possibilities adds to the excitement as students keep trying to guess who the culprit is, or where they must go, or what they need to solve each mystery.
WORK HARD, PERSEVERE & CONQUER!
Believe it or not, what appears to look like regular math worksheets to a teacher, the game purpose feel to these pages changes the kids’ perspective to what would normally be a drill sheet. I’ve found kids keen to learn or do an extra lesson to master a skill they need to conquer a challenging clue. So if you ever come across a clue that is particularly difficult, take the time to ‘stop and learn’ as a class to get through the page together. When a clue gets too tough, I find it important to teach students perseverance and compare it to a hard level in a popular game they are all familiar with. Keep trying, learn the skills needed to pass, and aim for success!
OTHER EXTRA MOTIVATORS
To give these math mysteries an extra game-like feel, we’ve added extra motivators so that you can engage even some of your most reluctant learners:
Whether it’s a break from your usual routine, or you might need something easy and fun to leave for a sub. These math mysteries will keep your kids learning and practicing important skills.
Try a complete Math Mystery for FREE! All you will need to do is print, photocopy and go! Have the video hook (optional) below ready for student viewing to set the stage to engage. Then challenge your kids to the task! See who can solve the mystery!
I would love to hear how this goes with your class. Enjoy!
First, SET THE STAGE TO ENGAGE!
Each Math Mystery begins with an opening one-page story (as in the image below). The story sets up the mystery and has been designed to engage students. We are now also creating VIDEO HOOKS for the math mysteries, which are an optional extra that can be used to introduce your class to the activity and ‘hook’ them into the math work. (View an example Video Hook below too).
CHOOSE to use either the written story or video hook to introduce the activity to your students. You could choose to use both if you wish.
AN EXTENSIVE LIST OF POSSIBILITIES!
Each Math mystery for 2nd grade and up comes with a long list of possible solutions to the mystery component of the activity (see image A). The 1st-grade math mysteries come with fewer options and visual pictures instead (see image B). These are designed to make the guessing factor fun and large for the older grades. For the table list of suspects, you could assign a suspect to each student to make it extra exciting.
FIVE CLUE SHEETS WITH MATH QUESTIONS
Every math mystery in my range is consistent with having five clues to solve. Each clue sheet will require students to carry out math work. If the answers are correct, an important clue reveals in a message! If the clue doesn’t make sense, then students will know there are errors in their answers. The fact that these are practically self-checking also reduces teacher marking time...YAY!!!
To quickly and easily find out the math skill covered in each clue, check the product description of the math mystery grade version you would like.
The clue sheets (as long as it is the same clue number) are interchangeable between the 2nd to 8th-grade math mysteries (as long as the story title is the same); so you can swap pages around to tailor the mystery to suit your learners and differentiate within your classroom. For example, in the image below.
You can try this out with the free mystery at the end.
On top of all the math questions embedded into the mystery, critical thinking is an additional must to solve the mystery component of the activity. Upon discovery of a clue, students must read, comprehend and think about what the clue means for them to do with the LIST given. It doesn’t always tell you who or what to cross off; sometimes it is giving you a clue as to who to keep instead! Some clues can be quite tricky (but make for great discussions). The clues are sometimes straightforward and easy to interpret with what to do, others can be in a riddle form (like the one below), that will require an extra step in thinking about the elimination step.
"A LADY WAS ABLE TO SCARE OFF THE ANTIHERO WITH COOKIES'
If a lady was able to scare the antihero away with cookies, then the Super Bad Superhero MUST HAVE a weakness to cookies. Some students may accidentally cross off all suspects with a weakness to cookies. However, it SHOULD be to cross off all suspects that have a weakness to something else and KEEP only suspects with a weakness to cookies.
By the end of the five clues, if done correctly, only one row will remain. That row provides the answer to the mystery!
Once students declare the correct mystery answer, you have the optional award provided within the download that you can give to them.
If the student gets the correct mystery answer, only a glance over the completed clue sheets is all the marking you will need to do.
MULTIPLE USES FOR THE CLASSROOM OR AT HOME
There are multiple uses for math mysteries. These included, but are not limited to,
DOWNLOAD A FREE MULTIPLE GRADE LEVEL MATH MYSTERY TO TRY!
Download directly above or find it in my TPT store HERE to download for free. Video hook included!
A 21st century School Teacher, Mother, and Wife.