Number Sense Mystery Puzzles

Developing number sense is something that takes kids time and a lot of effort.  But this number sense activity makes it both exciting and challenging!

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Getting Ready

Prepping this number sense activity was quick and easy!

I started by printing out a few copies of the 100 chart and the matching mystery number cards (below).

I printed everything on Astrobrights cardstock to give this activity a POP of color and some extra durability, then laminated them.

It was obvious this math center would be a hit and my kiddos would want to do it over and over again!

I cut out the mystery number cards so they would easily fit right on top of the 100 chart.Awesome number sense mystery puzzles for kindergarten or first grade!

I put each “set” in a gallon-sized Ziploc baggie with a dry erase marker.

Number Sense Mystery Puzzles

Since this number sense activity takes some brain power, I decided to use it in a small group setting.

While my class was working on various math centers like Skip Counting Puzzles and Flip Flop Measuring to review previously taught skills, I called over five of my students to my small group table.

To spark their thinking, I started out by showing them a single mystery number card and asking them what I should write in the blanks.  It was a tricky concept at first, but once I showed them that the mystery number card was a section of the 100 chart, I could see their eyes lighting up.

Free number sense mystery puzzles for first grade!

I passed out a Ziploc baggies full of materials to each child and let them start exploring.

Most of my students started out by setting the mystery number cards directly on top of the 100 chart.  They were counting across the chart to fill in the blanks.

This was great for some of my students, but some were ready for a challenge.  So, I challenged a few children who were ready to flip the 100 chart over and only use it when they were stuck.

I let them work and I supported each child as they needed it through the number sense activity.

Free number sense puzzles for first graders!

To wrap up, we discussed the strategies we used to fill in the blanks and compared answers.

My students loved trying something challenging and new, and I loved that they had to think critically!

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Hi, I’m Malia.

I LOVE helping Pre-K, Kindergarten and First Grade teachers save time, stay inspired and give EVERY student bigger results. I’m so glad you’re here!