*Use a challenge or brainteaser as a homework option for students who need a challenge, or let them replace a simple homework assignment with the challenge to show parents how well you’re differentiating. :)
*Use a math challenge or brainteaser as a “number talk” problem to start out your daily math class. Work through it as a class or let students work in partners or small groups to talk through it and solve it together.
*Make a pack of challenge problems for advanced students to use as a fast finisher or during certain in-class math lessons where they've already mastered the material.
*Give a challenge or brainteaser to a small group of students as one of their independent math workshop rotations or use them with your advanced small math group rotation.
*Use the problems as an independent practice activity during a unit on problem solving strategies (guess and check, work backwards, etc.) or attacking a multi-step problem.
*Keep a stack of challenge problems in your classroom fast finisher area for any student who wants a challenge.
*Choose one or two challenge problems for the month and reward any student who can solve both. You can put these on a bulletin board or have them available as additional incentives.
Currently I'm using these as a challenge for my second graders in the form of math contracts. I have a few super amazing 2nd grade mathematicians who are way ahead of the rest of the class. They have the option of completing math contract work at any time during our independent math time as a replacement for the assignments given to the rest of the class. Typically at the beginning of the year I have 6-7 students on math contracts and this dwindles to the few who really enjoy the independent challenges and are willing to work through these multi-step problems. Usually by the end of the year I have 2-3 die hard math challenge kiddos who have stuck with the contracts all year.
These are great to show parents at conferences, especially for those parents who want to see how their child is being challenged. I just print out 5 of the math challenges, add a math contract cover sheet and I'm good to go. Differentiation Complete!
If you haven't already downloaded the freebie which includes 3 math challenges and brainteasers, hop on over to my store and check it out. I hope you enjoy!
Need more math challenges? I'm currently working on monthly math challenge sets for every month of the school year! My newest March Math Challenges & Brainteasers includes 25 math problems with spring and March holiday themes like: Pi Day, St. Patrick's Day, rainbows, March Madness basketball, leprechauns, clovers, and Read Across America Day.
Have a great week teachers!
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