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M Puzzle

This M Puzzle is trickier than it may first appear. Arrange the four given pieces to form a symmetric letter M. The pieces may not overlap one another in the final configuration.

One might wonder just how hard it would be to assemble four pieces to make the letter M. If this is you, you might be surprised!

m puzzle four pieces letter m

I found this M Puzzle on the now-defunct puzzles(dot)com website that used to be operated by ThinkFun.

An archived version of their website still exists thanks to the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine.

I created a new set of instructions and an enlarged set of pieces so I can use this puzzle with my students.

I added magnets to the back of each piece so that I can hang the puzzle vertically on my dry erase board.

Though I loved having a puzzle table at my old school, I’ve found that vertical puzzles are noticed by more students which leads to greater overall engagement.

By adding disc magnets to the back of each piece, I have made the puzzle slightly easier.

If you gave this puzzle to students on a table, they would have to think about flipping pieces over as they worked through the solution which would make things even hearder.

I definitely miss seeing students clustered around my dry erase board while tackling the weekly puzzle.

COVID restrictions seem to be starting to lift, so I’m hopeful that I will get to start using magnetic puzzles on my dry erase board next school year. Until then, I will keep adding them to my filing cabinet of puzzles so I’m ready.

Maybe someday I will have enough puzzles to post a puzzle of the day instead of a puzzle of the week…

Puzzle Solutions

I intentionally do not share solutions to the puzzles I feature on my website because I strive to provide learning experiences for my students that are not google-able. I would like other teachers to be able to use these puzzles in their classrooms as well without the solutions being easily found on the Internet.

However, I do recognize that us teachers are busy people and sometimes need to quickly reference an answer key to see if a student has solved a puzzle correctly or to see if they have interpreted the instructions properly.

If you are a teacher who is using these puzzles in your classroom, please send me an email at sarah@mathequalslove.net with information about what you teach and where you teach. I will be happy to forward an answer key to you.

Ronnie Tanner

Thursday 15th of April 2021

My teacher gave me this, I couldn't even get it done while in her class, I then was allowed to take it home, I spent an hour trying to solve it and still couldn't do it, very challenging and fun.