# Puzzle Activities on Factoring Math Squares

Written by kirsten anderberg
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Factoring puzzles for math squares help students reinforce their skills while keeping them entertained and engaged. The Web offers an assortment of virtual and printed puzzles that help familiarise students with the concept of factoring squares. These range from crossword puzzles to cut-and-match games (similar to dominoes) that are played with factoring problems instead of dots.

## Crossword Puzzles and an Algebra Cruncher Puzzle

<p>EdHelper.com has math square factoring crossword puzzles on its site. Two of these puzzles cover the factoring of perfect square trinomials and another involves the factoring of perfect squares with exponents of four as well as two. CoolMath's website has an "Algebra Cruncher" puzzle that generates an endless amount of quadratic equations to be solved by factoring. When a player enters an incorrect answer, the puzzle offers hints, followed by the correct answer and an explanation of how that answer was reached.

## Perfect Squares and Factoring Difference of Squares Puzzles

<p>Quia.com offers several factoring square puzzles. One of these requires students to determine whether polynomials can be factored by a difference of squares and if so, how they can be factored. The site's "Perfect Square" puzzle prompts players to determine whether a polynomial can be expressed as a perfect square and if so, to factor it to a perfect square.

## Print and Cut Factoring Puzzle

Henri County Schools offers a factoring puzzle on its website. Students can print a pdf file from the site that has cards with squared expressions on both sides of them. Players must factor expressions to match equivalent expressions, and then make new 4 x 4 squares from the square cards.

## Difference of Squares, Greatest Common Factor and Trinomial Factoring Puzzles

MakingMathFun has several factoring puzzles that can be played by groups of three to four students. Each group gets nine puzzle cards containing factoring questions and answers and the goal is to match the questions and answers to build a 3 x 3 square from nine puzzle pieces. Several different factoring puzzles with printable cards are available on this site. One puzzle requires the solution of the greatest common factor, another highlights the difference of squares and another incorporates trinomials.

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