Table of Contents |
Sample Puzzles |

CAREFUL EXERCISE SELECTION. Exercises are sequenced to guide students in incremental, step-by-step fashion toward understanding of the concept or procedure involved. Students practice through an appropriate range of applications for the topic, and important variations and discriminations are highlighted. Exercise sets are designed to be challenging but doable, though the amount of instruction required will vary with the experience of the students.

KNOWLEDGE OF RESULTS. We all need feedback and confirmation when

we work, especially when learning new skills. Built into Punchline puzzles are various devices for giving the student immediate feedback as exercises are completed. For example, if an answer is not in the scrambled answer list or code, the student knows it is incorrect. The student can try again or ask for help. Teachers are able to spend more time helping students who need help and less time confirming correct answers. Students work with greater confidence.

OPPORTUNITIES TO WORK WITH A PARTNER. Several puzzles in this book are designed for partners. Each student does essentially the same exercises but with different numbers. Partners must work together to get the punchline. Students are encouraged to help each other, since both use the same solution processes, but not copy each other, since the numbers are different. There is interdependence combined with individual accountability, the twin hallmarks of effective cooperative learning. Together they produce an additional source of student motivation.

In an effort to make these puzzles easy

to use, we have organized them into 20 sections (10 sections in each binder) that correspond to chapters in many algebra textbooks. Each puzzle is designed for a specific topic listed in the Table of Contents and on the page itself. Many puzzles provide space for student work. Hopefully, their self-correcting feature will lighten the burden of correcting assignments. We hope you enjoy them!