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Decimal Operations Practice With Number Puzzles


How much do your students love working with decimals and decimal operations?

Sometimes remembering decimal operations ‘rules’ can be difficult. But, practicing with math puzzles can help students’ logic and reasoning when it comes to decimal operations.

Turning decimal operations practice into a fun, Sudoku-like puzzle is a great way to help upper elementary and middle school math students work with the different decimal operations.

Looking for a fun and engaging way to help your students with decimal operations? These number puzzles are the answer.

Many of my students love solving Sudoku puzzles using whole numbers. When we replace the whole numbers with decimal problems, we’re able to use a logic puzzle that gives students a new way to practice!

Solving Number Puzzles

Sudoku puzzles are fun and interesting. 

In case you’ve never used them, they require problem solving and reasoning to make sure that every row, column and group of squares only has one of each number. Some students develop strategies when approaching a puzzle; some learn to use guess and check quite often:-)

When working with decimals in a Sudoku puzzle, students need to consider their target numbers, as well as how to complete the necessary operation. This makes decimal practice a bit more interesting and engaging than working on one problem after another on a worksheet.

How This Decimal Operations Number Puzzle Works

As with whole number Sudoku, I start decimal Sudoku with a few squares filled in, so students have a starting point. 

  • (If students have never tried Sudoku puzzles before, I recommend starting with a regular Sudoku puzzle, to teach students how they work.)
To help students get started practicing decimal operations a few squares are filled in and completed

So far, I’ve only used a 4 X 4 grid, which makes figuring out the target numbers fairly easy. 

  • All of the squares have a decimal problem with a missing addend in them. 
  • Within each 2 x 2 section, there is one completed problem, with the target number of 1, 2, 3, or 4 already filled in. 
  • The object is for students to figure out the target number for each square and then find the missing decimal number in each individual square. 
  • Every row and column must each contain 1, 2, 3 and 4 as the answers to the decimal problems (these are the target numbers).
  • Every 2 x 2 section must also contain 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Decimal Operations Puzzle Example

For example, on the answer key shown here: 

  • You can see the target numbers of 1-4 in the rows and sections (they’re in the columns as well)
  • You can also see the completed decimal problems.
  • Everything in black (target numbers and decimal numbers) is provided for students. 
  • Everything in green is what the students must find (target numbers and missing decimal addends).

Current and Future Decimal Puzzles

I’ve only used addition problems (which actually requires them to subtract:-), but other operations may work well also. 

  • Larger puzzles (6 x 6 and maybe 9 x 9) would also offer a greater challenge.
  • Puzzles with all operations would be a greater challenge as well. For instance, in a 4 X 4 puzzle, the first column could be two multiplication problems and two addition problems. 

Are you looking for more ideas about teaching decimal operations? Check out this post.


Welcome to Cognitive Cardio Math! I’m Ellie, a wife, mom, grandma, and dog ‘mom,’ and I’ve spent just about my whole life in school! With nearly 30 years in education, I’ve taught:

  • All subject areas in 4th and 5th grades
  • Math, ELA, and science in 6th grade (middle school)

I’ve been creating resources for teachers since 2012 and have worked in the elearning industry for about five years as well!

If you’re looking for ideas and resources to help you teach math (and a little ELA), I can help you out!



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