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SNEAKY SUMS—UNKNOWNS IN A GRID

Grades: 4‒8

Sneaky Sums is a game of logic that develops students’ early algebraic reasoning skills as they deduce the secret numerical values assigned to four geometric shapes. A 4 × 4 grid is randomly populated with circles, triangles, squares, hexagons, and blank spaces. Students can view the sum of the shapes in any row or column. Students use these sums as clues to determine the numerical values of the shapes. Each new random assignment of values and shapes in the grid creates a fresh challenge to solve.

OBJECTIVES 
  • Students will use logical reasoning skills to determine the unknown numerical values assigned to a collection of symbols.
  • Students will develop, refine, and share intuitive strategies for solving algebraic equations without formal symbol manipulation.

COMMON CORE CONNECTIONS 
Mathematical Practices

(1) Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them; (2) Reason abstractly and quantitatively; (3) Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others; (5) Use appropriate tools strategically; (7) Look for and make use of structure.

Content Standards

6.EE2, 4, 5, 6; 7.EE4; 8.EE8

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This activity is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/. If you adapt and/or share this activity, you must attribute it to "KCP Technologies, a McGraw-Hill Education Company." You may distribute it only non-commercially under the same or similar license.


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under KCP Technologies Award ID 0918733, with grant period September 1, 2009 through August 31, 2013. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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