Puzzles and Riddles
- Multiply and divide using a variety of mental strategies
- Determine the missing numbers in equations
- Develop and apply reasoning skills to make and test math predictions
The goal of a Stay the Same Puzzle is to figure out the starting number for each puzzle that, after going through all four steps, will end up staying the same. In the example below, the solution is 3, because 3+5=8, then 8÷2=4, then 4-3=1, and finally 1×3=3.
Try these other Stay the Same Puzzles:
Remember that if you end up with a final number different than the one you started with, choose a different starting number and try again!
Questions and Prompts to Support your Child:
- What strategies did you use to choose and adjust your starting numbers?
- What have you tried so far? What could we try together?
- What mental math strategies are you using to walk through these calculations?
Extensions & Adaptations:
- If struggling with calculations, grab a calculator to double check each step
- More Stay the Same Puzzles are available here!
- Try to create your own Stay the Same Puzzles by taking a starting number through three steps, and figuring out what the fourth step will need to be to get back to the starting number. Once you have your steps figured out, erase your starting number and challenge someone to try figuring it out!
Source: Don Steward Blog