For this long-form story problem, read the story to your class first, then give them the questions to answer, and the story as a reference. Optional artistic tie-in: draw a picture of the monster. Optional challenge: write another question about the story.

## Pyramid Puzzles

Pyramid puzzles are a fun and deceptively tricky puzzle. Sometimes these can’t be done without some risk taking—encourage guessing and checking, and learning from the inevitable mistakes, especially on the harder puzzles. More on Pyramid Puzzles here.

## What’s the biggest rectangle?

Math concepts: Area, perimeter, number patterns Materials: Graph paper, pencil Tags: 3.MD.7.a-b, 4.OA2, 4.OA.3, 4.OA.5, 4.OA.5, 5.OA.3, MP1, MP2, MP3, MP5, MP6, MP7. Of all the rectangles with a given perimeter, which one has the largest area? This simple question launches a fascinating exploration. The Launch Remind students of the definition of area and perimeter. Then pose the following question: …

## The Calendar Problem

Topics: Multiplication, addition, Materials: Calendar, Hundreds chart, pencil and paper, calculator (optional) Common Core: 4.OA.1, 4.OA.3, 4.OA.5, 4.NBT.5, MP1, MP2, MP3, MP6, MP7, MP8 How can you add up these numbers so quickly? Why we love this lesson Simple to launch, instantly engaging and accessible, this puzzle is a beautiful demonstration of the usefulness of multiplication. Not only that, figuring …

## Target Number

Math Concepts: Arithmetic, equivalencies Equipment: pencil & paper Grades: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Common Core: Variable, but especially OA, i.e., 1.OA.C.5, 2.OA.B.2, 3.OA.C.7 Time: 5 – 15 minutes You know the answer. What’s the question? Why We Love Target Number This is a quick check-in that adjusts to the abilities of each student, allows for creativity and arithmetic practice together, and …

## The Power of 37

Topics: Multiplication, patterns, Materials: Pencil & paper Common Core: 4.NBT.1, 4.NBT.5, 5.OA.1, 5.OA.2, 5.NBT.5, MP1, MP2, MP3, MP6, MP7, MP8. How does multiplying by 37 have this strange effect? This problems in multiplication is designed to give students the practice they need once they understand the basic idea of multiplication, with a context to provide motivation and deeper understanding. The …

## Number Talks

Topics: Mental math, numerical fluency; argument & critique Materials: White board or projector Time:5 – 15 minutes Common Core: Variable, but especially MP3 This mental math routine creates powerful positive habits for students. Why We Love Number Talks Number talks don’t replace other instruction, but they are a powerful complement to it. They get all students involved, help them strengthen fluency, intuition, …

## Math Games and Movement Breaks

Enjoying these lessons? Join our mailing list now and we’ll send you lesson updates, our 8-page Games to Play at Home packet, all our New York Times puzzles, and much more. Topics: addition, subtraction Materials: none Recommended grades: K, 1, 2, 3, 4 Common Core: K.OA.A.2, K.OA.A.4, K.OA.A.5, 1.OA.C.6, 2.OA.B.2 When kids get antsy, it is time to break out …

## Horseshoes (+/-)

Topics: Addition, subtraction, estimation, comparisons. Materials: Card deck, pencil and paper, white board/document camera. Grades: 2, 3, 4 Common Core: 2.NBT.B.5, 3.NBT.A.2 How close can you get to the target number with the digits provided? Why We Love Horseshoes Horseshoes combines arithmetic practice with complex thinking. Students make their own choices about how to combine the four numbers and get immediate feedback …

## Broken Calculators

Topics: Addition, Subtraction, Skip Counting, Multiplication, Logic Materials: Scratch paper and pencil, handouts (optional) Recommended Grade: 3, 4 Common Core: 3.OA.A.3, 3.OA.A.4, 3.OA.B.5, 3.OA.D.8, 3.OA.D.9, 4.OA.A.4, 4.OA.C.5, MP1, MP2, MP3, MP6, MP7, MP8 Something is wrong with the calculators in each lesson. Can students reach the target number despite the broken buttons? Why We Love Broken Calculators The premise is simple, but …