Math games and math puzzles are great ways for students to work on second grade math concepts through hands-on activities, specifically, through my favorite, PUZZLES.

In this post, you’ll find examples of 2nd grade math puzzles that incorporate spiral math review of all 2nd grade common core math skills, along with social studies and science content integration.

## Content Integration

There’s never enough time to teach everything that needs to be taught, especially for everything that’s required of us nowadays. I’m always looking for ways to integrate science and social studies into MATH and ELA..like many other teachers! We barely have enough time during the day to fit all the 1.3487 thousand things we have to teach, so when we can tie in a little social studies into our math lessons, we’re gonna do it! Am I right?!!

## Math Puzzles

This idea came to me in the middle of the night, as all of our best teaching ideas do, and I’ve been creating several monthly spiral math review units for it! I call it… **UNLOCK THE FACT**. I created a 2nd grade version and a 3rd grade version. I’ve loved using these hands-on math games during my Guided Math rotations. My students have been excited about revealing new facts!

## How Does It Work?

First, students **answer **the math problems on the cards. Next, they put the puzzle together by ordering the answers from least to greatest. If done correctly, an INTERESTING FACT is revealed!

## Step 1: Solve the Problems

First, the students answer all 9 questions in random order. Using a thin dry erase marker, students will write the answer in the rectangular or square box. Below is an example from the Holidays Around the World edition.

## Step 2: Arrange the Strips in Order

After your students have answered all 9 questions, next they will put the puzzle strips in order from LEAST to GREATEST. If they have *answered* the problems correctly, and have placed the numbers in *order correctly*, an **INTERESTING** **FACT **will be revealed! I LOVE being able to tie in so many skills at once! {solving the spiral math problems on the card *PLUS *ordering the numbers from least to greatest. BAM. Two math skills in one.

## Step 3: Accountability

Next, I hold my students ACCOUNTABLE for everything so I have them record their answers on the recording sheet. I don’t grade these because I already have 2.1 million papers to grade, instead, I have my students check their answers using the answer keys provided in the file.

## Step 4: Write the Fact {Optional}

Sometimes I have my students keep track of their facts in the “Unlock the Fact” booklet. It’s fun to have your own little booklet filled with fun facts, plus it’s an easy way to sneak in a little writing! Parents enjoy seeing the booklet, too! Alternatively, you can have your students write their facts in a math journal or writing journal. I like using the booklet. Some teachers don’t have their students write the facts at all—it’s completely up to you if you want to add in that component.

## Self-Correcting Puzzles

One of my favorite things about these puzzles is that they are self-correcting. #AllTheHalleluiahHands

Students will have to determine if the fact revealed {the sentence} *makes sense* and *sounds right*! See what I did there…integrating a bit of reading for meaning & comprehension. If the fact {sentence} DOES NOT make sense, look right, or sound right, the students will remove the puzzle strips that look out of place and solve the problem again.

Due to the puzzles being self-correcting, this means I’m able to meet with my guided math groups while the other students in the room are engaged and working quietly during their math games or math centers rotation.

## Common Core Aligned

The math skills included in the units are all aligned to the common core. The common core standards are placed in the upper left corner of each puzzle. This allows teachers and admin to easily identify the skills and standards.

## More Examples from the March Unit

If you’d like to purchase these Unlock the Fact math puzzles, click on one of the pictures below.

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