With a partner, work through the series of pentomino sum puzzles. Use algebraic equations to solve each puzzle. Show your work as you use your algebraic equation to solve each puzzle. Use the tool to place the pentomino in different spots on the hundreds chart until you find the right spot. Use the , and tools to explain and justify your thinking on each page.
This is an activity adapted from Jon Orr's mrorrisageek.com (https://mrorr-isageek.com/pentomino-puzzles/) Use this activity to help students begin to apply algebraic thinking to a "real-life" puzzle. They will eventually recognize the usefulness of writing algebraic expressions and solving equations in order to solve the sum puzzles. Allow them to struggle through the first couple of pages before giving too much guidance. Listen to their strategies and help them refine their ideas. Encourage them to notice the relationship between the number beneath the star on the pentomino and the other numbers covered by the pentomino. As they progress through the activity, can they develop a strategy using an algebraic expression to help them locate the sum more quickly?