Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Magic Square (and a FREEBIE!)

Y'all. I love a good puzzle--and the magic square is a nifty little puzzle that I'm excited to share! 

A magic square is an arrangement of numbers in a square grid where the 
numbers in each row, column, and diagonally all add up to the same number.
(that's what makes it magical!!)

You start out with a blank 3x3 grid and organize numbers 1 through 9 to make 15 in all directions. 
Your final product should look similar to the picture below!
I found it on a wonderful blog by a momma over {here},
and I've adapted her take on the magic square just a bit to make it more classroom/math station friendly.

(Click the picture to take you to Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational!)

So in every direction, the sum is 15.

According to some, the magic square story goes like this:
Ben Franklin was often bored in his classes
so to pass the time he would doodle on his paper!
His doodling eventually became organizing numbers in various rows and columns. 
Ben Franklin wondered how the numbers would add up in each direction--
and eventually, the magic squares were born!

 P.S. This book is really great!!
One strategy for solving the magic square is to place 5 in the middle and make ten with the squares on the outside. Making ten is a wonderful strategy that our littles need to understand and I just saw these great pins on making ten--check them out {here} and {here}.

There are many versions of the magic square and many sizes, too, 
but nine is a good amount for my primary kiddos!
I love the magic square because there is addition + critical thinking and problem solving + teamwork + so many other things involved.

And since you've stuck with me through all of these words, here's a FREEBIE for your classroom!!

 Just copy the numbers onto cardstock (colors are fun!) and laminate for durability. 
Your littles can use those to manipulate the numbers into a magic square! 
A recording sheet is also included, plus an answer key!

Just click on either picture to download the Google Doc.

This would be a really simple (yet engaging and challenging!!) math station for your classroom!
I can't wait to begin using it in mine. 

The blog that I mentioned at the very beginning has a post on magic squares--read it {here}. 
She made her numbers magnetic and uses a cookie sheet with her son! GENIUS.
If you'd like to download the numbers she used to make magnets, 
head on over and let her know I sent you!

Happy teaching, friends!

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