Saturday, September 14, 2013

Spark Student Motivation-Magic Squares

Happy Saturday! It is a beautiful day here in PA. I am so excited to have my windows open and not by seating to death! I hope many of you are able to have the gorgeous weather I am enjoying today!

I'm linking up with the wonderful Joanne from Head Over Heels for Teaching to share an activity that I use to motivate my kiddos during math.

I am always looking for a fun way to stretch my kiddos thinking. Last year I stumbled across Magic Squares on TPT. HoJo, one of my favorite Magic Squares sellers has a lot of great products for all elementary ages. She has a blog post about how to use them here.
This week during our math stations I had my kiddos work on her Place Value set. Because I like to hold my kiddos accountable for their work in their stations so I copy them on white paper, cut them apart, and paperclip all the squares together. When the students solve the puzzle I have them tape the squares down on a blank piece of paper.

The students love doing them. A few of my high kids asked for new squares when they finished the set they were on because they enjoyed doing them so much. I loved it because they were very engaged and they solved 24 math problems in a fun and exciting way.

Have any of you used Magic Squares with your kiddos before? Be sure to head over to Joanne's blog to find more ways to motivate your students!


  1. What a fun and engaging way to practice math skills! Departmentalizing is great, but sometimes I really miss teaching math!

    Have a great weekend!

    Fit to be Fourth
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  2. Ok...I don't know about Magic Squares, but I would love an activity for my students to reinforce place value-heading over to check it out! Thanks for sharing and linking up Bethany!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  3. Sonds like fun.

    Any ideas for making this activity reuse able? I teach five sections of math and I'm trying to cut back on the number of photocopies. Often, I will make half a class set of a worksheet and put it in sheet protectors to remind the kids not to write on them. (This can mean 15 copies instead of 60-120 depending on whether the activity is for one grade or if I use it with the 7s and the 8s.


  4. I love magic squares!! I have a ton of them left over from when I taught sixth grade math. We used them for equivalent fractions, converting between fractions and decimals, improper fractions and mixed numbers, exponents, etc. You can use them for just about any math concept! Since I taught about 90 students math back then, I just kept the squares paper clipped together and had some answer sheets copied off. When they were finished, I would check their work and then they would put the squares back in the paper clip for use with another class. Thanks for the flashback! I need to make some for 4th grade too!!
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  5. Bethany - You totally just made my night! I'm scrolling through BlogLovin' when I think, "Hey! That's me!" Thanks for the shout out! I've sold a few this weekend and I wondered why there are so popular. You get all the credit! :)

    To FoodMathQuilts - Print off the number of copies you need on cardstock and simply have students arrange them on their desks. Check when they are done that they are in the correct order. Then reuse them for the next class! I have some sets that have been through four years in my classroom. :)


    1. I'm so glad you saw some extra sales this weekend! My kiddos love your Magic Squares. Thanks for making them!

  6. I tried to comment on this Saturday through bloglovin on my phone and it wouldn't let me! Booo.

    I have never used these but I think I've seen these before! I'm so glad you posted about them so I can try them out!!

    Thank you!! Anything that motivates them to love math is a keeper for me!
    Collaboration Cuties