3rd grade math games for 3rd grade common core math that can be used for math centers

I don’t know if you’re like me but I get bored easily from doing the same lessons and activities year after year, so I’m always looking for ways to add more engagement in my classroom, while keeping up with the rigor of the standards.

This is what led me to creating these 3rd grade math games and puzzles for my classroom. I love using these Unravel the Fact math puzzles with my students because it’s a great way for my kids to work on math skills through hands-on activities. Plus, puzzles in general are just fun!

Although I really like using math games in my classroom, my guided math routine started to become a little stale. I don’t know if you can relate but after using the same math centers and math games year after year, I knew I needed to shake it up a bit and do something different..for my sake AND for the kid’s sake.

That’s when I came up with this twist on math games for my classroom and guided math routine to not only incorporate daily spiral math review, but to also include social studies and science content integration.

These 3rd Grade Math Games Will Help You Cover More Content

Do you ever feel like you don’t have enough time to teach everything in your curriculum or cover all the standards before scheduled assessments (especially with all the extra things that have been added to our plates)?

I always feel this way. And it’s exhausting..and mentally draining.

I’m constantly looking for ways to integrate science and social studies into math and language arts because I barely have enough time during the day to fit all the 9,145,343,807 things I have to teach, so when I can tie in a little social studies or science AND READING into our math lessons, I feel like a freaking rock star! HA!

So, if you’re like me and always looking for ways to integrate content across all areas, I’m glad you found this blog post because I am so excited to share this resource with you.

This idea came to me in the middle of the night, as all of our best teaching ideas do, and ever since that night my brain WOULD NOT turn off. As a result, I was able to create several monthly spiral math review units for these Unravel the Fact puzzles. There is a 2nd grade version and a 3rd grade version.

My students have really enjoyed using these hands-on math games during our Guided Math rotations. And they have been soooo excited about revealing new facts during math stations! If you’re a fellow fun fact NERD like me, you totally get my excitement!

Keep reading to find out how these fun fact puzzles work…

What are Unravel the Fact math puzzles?

Unravel the Fact math puzzles are puzzles that can be used in a small group, as an independent math station, or with a partner in a math center. Students will answer the math problems, 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. They will have “unraveled a fact”.

3rd Grade Math Games Align to Common Core

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. This is the perfect “proof” that answers the question…”Are you teaching the standards?” “Why yes…yes I am.” 🙂

Self-Correcting Math Puzzles

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

Students will have to determine if the fact revealed makes sense and sounds right! See what I did there…integrating a bit of reading for meaning & comprehension. If the fact 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.


A teacher left a review on TPT and said, “My students love doing these for test review and reading the message when it is done. I also love how they are self-checking-if it makes sense, you are correct! Thank you for a fun, unique product.”


Due to the self-correcting nature of the puzzles, 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 stations rotation.

How Do These 3rd Grade Math Games Work?

First, students answer the math problems or math facts 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!

Here’s a short video from my Instagram stories where I talk about and show you examples from the 3rd grade March edition or go ahead and keep scrolling to see step by step images on how this works.

Step 1: Print the Math Puzzles

The prep for this resource is super low, which is one thing I love about it! And once it’s fully prepped, you’ll be able to use it year after year.

First, print the puzzles on colored paper or cardstock. I use astrobrights colored paper.

3rd-grade-math-games-for-3rd-grade-common-core-math stations
3rd-grade-math-games-for-3rd-grade-common-core-math stations
3rd-grade-math-games-for-3rd-grade-common-core-math stations
3rd-grade-math-games-for-3rd-grade-common-core-math stations

In this next step, I place each puzzle in a basket along with a dry erase marker. These baskets are wonderful and they were super cheap. I bought them from the Dollar Tree…3 baskets came in one set. I think I purchased 7 sets, for a total of 21 baskets! Such a good deal, right?!!

3rd-grade-math-games-storage
These 3rd grade math center activities are perfect for guided math rotations! These engaging math puzzles can be used for math stations, math centers, math enrichment, math intervention, or as an early finisher activity. It includes hands on math puzzles and math printables. Multiplication, addition, subtraction, division, telling time, counting money, geometry, place value and rounding are all included in these 3rd grade math activities. #3rdgrade #math 
Math worksheets
Math games
Math centers

Step 6: Answering the Math Problems

Here’s where the student work begins. 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 my 3rd Grade Camping Themed Activities Unit.

3rd-grade-math-games

Step 7: 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.

3rd-grade-math-games

Accountability for Math Puzzles

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.

3rd-grade-math-games

Final Step: 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.

Printable Cut and Paste Option for 3rd Grade Math Puzzles

There’s also a printable cut and paste option included in the bundle as well. I like to use both the laminated math centers option and the printable option in my classroom. It’s nice to switch it up sometimes! Some teachers use the printable version for interactive notebooks, morning work, math warm-ups, for a sub, and even for homework.

3rd-grade-math-worksheets
These 3rd grade math center activities are perfect for guided math rotations! These engaging math puzzles can be used for math stations, math centers, math enrichment, math intervention, or as an early finisher activity. It includes hands on math puzzles and math printables. Multiplication, addition, subtraction, division, telling time, counting money, geometry, place value and rounding are all included in these 3rd grade math activities. #3rdgrade #math 
Math worksheets
Math games
Math centers

More Examples from 3rd Grade Units

These 3rd grade math center activities are perfect for guided math rotations! These engaging math puzzles can be used for math stations, math centers, math enrichment, math intervention, or as an early finisher activity. It includes hands on math puzzles and math printables. Multiplication, addition, subtraction, division, telling time, counting money, geometry, place value and rounding are all included in these 3rd grade math activities. #3rdgrade #math 
Math worksheets
Math games
Math centers
Multiplication Word Problems from the Multiplication Unlock the Fact
These 3rd grade math center activities are perfect for guided math rotations! These engaging math puzzles can be used for math stations, math centers, math enrichment, math intervention, or as an early finisher activity. It includes hands on math puzzles and math printables. Multiplication, addition, subtraction, division, telling time, counting money, geometry, place value and rounding are all included in these 3rd grade math activities. #3rdgrade #math 
Math worksheets
Math games
Math centers
Practicing Quadrilaterals from the April Unlock the Fact Unit
These 3rd grade math center activities are perfect for guided math rotations! These engaging math puzzles can be used for math stations, math centers, math enrichment, math intervention, or as an early finisher activity. It includes hands on math puzzles and math printables. Multiplication, addition, subtraction, division, telling time, counting money, geometry, place value and rounding are all included in these 3rd grade math activities. #3rdgrade #math 
Math worksheets
Math games
Math centers
Practicing Perimeter from the April Unlock the Fact Unit
These 3rd grade math center activities are perfect for guided math rotations! These engaging math puzzles can be used for math stations, math centers, math enrichment, math intervention, or as an early finisher activity. It includes hands on math puzzles and math printables. Multiplication, addition, subtraction, division, telling time, counting money, geometry, place value and rounding are all included in these 3rd grade math activities. #3rdgrade #math 
Math worksheets
Math games
Math centers
Fractions Word Problems from the April Unlock the Fact Unit

Purchasing 3rd Grade Math Games/Puzzles

I hope you enjoy this twist on math games. It’s something different to incorporate into your classroom to shake it up a bit and engage your students even more! If you’re interested, you can purchase the 2nd or 3rd grade bundle below.


Click here to purchase 3rd Grade.

Click here to purchase 2nd Grade.

2nd grade math games
These 3rd grade math center activities are perfect for guided math rotations! These engaging math puzzles can be used for math stations, math centers, math enrichment, math intervention, or as an early finisher activity. It includes hands on math puzzles and math printables. Multiplication, addition, subtraction, division, telling time, counting money, geometry, place value and rounding are all included in these 3rd grade math activities. #3rdgrade #math 
Math worksheets
Math games
Math centers

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These 3rd grade math center activities are perfect for guided math rotations! These engaging math puzzles can be used for math stations, math centers, math enrichment, math intervention, or as an early finisher activity. It includes hands on math puzzles and math printables. Multiplication, addition, subtraction, division, telling time, counting money, geometry, place value and rounding are all included in these 3rd grade math activities. #3rdgrade #math 
Math worksheets
Math games
Math centers
3rd Grade Common Core Math:
Interested in FREE math puzzles? Click HERE to grab them.
These 3rd grade math center activities are perfect for guided math rotations! These engaging math puzzles can be used for math stations, math centers, math enrichment, math intervention, or as an early finisher activity. It includes hands on math puzzles and math printables. Multiplication, addition, subtraction, division, telling time, counting money, geometry, place value and rounding are all included in these 3rd grade math activities. #3rdgrade #math 
Math worksheets
Math games
Math centers

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Nesli

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