Using Logic Puzzles in Middle School Math

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Do you remember the last time your middle school math students solved a logic puzzle? Chances are, they had a lot of fun with it!

Completing logic puzzles can be so rewarding, and in fact, can be considered a mood booster! How good do you feel when you’ve figured out a puzzle? 

These kinds of puzzles can help improve students’ math skills by helping develop the ‘logical thinking’ side of their brains. Solving puzzles like these helps students with their systematic thinking….something that’s a benefit for all of us!

In this blog post, we’ll look at a few reasons you should use logic puzzles in your middle school math classes.

Benefits of Using Logic Puzzles in Math Class

Let’s look at a few ways these puzzles can help our math students. 

1. Logic puzzles help stimulate the brain. 

According to Reader’s Digest, different types of puzzles can ‘boost your brainpower,’ and this kind of puzzle boosts the logic-processing area of the brain. 

In addition, more challenging puzzles change the patterns of brain activity….so harder logic puzzles will impact our middle schoolers’ brains in different ways!

2. Logic puzzles help improve problem-solving skills. 

According to AHealthierMichigan.org, because of the amount of trial-and-error in solving different types of puzzles, the puzzles help us with how we solve problems. 

Solving puzzles helps us:

  • make predictions
  • test options and then…
  • revise our thinking

This is excellent problem-solving development for our middle school math students!

3. Logic puzzles help develop critical thinking skills. 

To solve these kinds of puzzles, students need to use the process of elimination. 

  • They need to understand how a ‘yes’ for one part of the puzzle means a ‘no’ for another part of the puzzle….which leads them on the path to the correct solution.

4. Solving logic puzzles helps build student confidence.

As students become more skilled at solving logic puzzles, their math confidence increases. This is excellent for those students who may feel a little less confident in computation or with other math concepts. 

How to Use Logic Puzzles in the Classroom

To build students’ skill with logic puzzles, start out with simpler puzzles. 

If students have never completed this type of puzzle, take some time to work through a few together. Model the process of elimination and show students how to mark the puzzle grid with Xs and Os or yes/no.

As they become more skilled and their confidence increases, you can incorporate more challenging puzzles.

Once students have the basic skill with the logic puzzles, they can be used in so many ways! 

  • Part of your math centers
  • Options for fast finishers
  • Math activities for ‘fun’ days
  • Cooperative or partner math activities
  • In differentiated assignments

Free Halloween-themed Logic Puzzle

If you’re looking for a few logic puzzles, you’re in luck!

I’ve got a FREE Halloween-themed logic puzzle for you that you can download below.

There are also several other logic puzzles in my Free Math Resource Center.

Do you use logic puzzles in your math class? Let us know in the comments below!

Ellie

One Comment

  • My kids last year didn’t like logic puzzles, but this year’s kids LOVE them! Thank you so much for this freebie!! 🙂

    Reply

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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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