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Which Side of the Line Numbers Puzzle

In this which side of the line numbers puzzle, students must determine if the numbers 9 and 10 go above or below the line.

which side of the line numbers puzzle

I ran across this puzzle in The Big Book of Mind-Bending Puzzles by Terry Stickels and decided it would make a great puzzle to put up in my classroom.

Which Side of the Line Numbers Puzzle

I typed up the numbers from 1 to 10 and printed them on colored squares. I placed a magnet on the back of each square so I could hang it on my dry erase board, but you could also use tape to attach these to whatever surface you are using.

Which Side of the Line Numbers Puzzle

I use ceramic disc magnets with all of my puzzles. I buy the magnets in bulk from Amazon. They are reasonably priced and strong enough to hold things up without them sliding down the dry erase board. I’ve used almost 400 of these magnets in the past year or so.

Which Side of the Line Numbers Puzzle

If you don’t want to cut out individual squares for each number, I also created another version of the instructions that includes the number diagram on the instruction page.

Which Side of the Line Numbers Puzzle

I also created another version of the puzzle that prints three to a page so you can hand students a small version of the puzzle to solve.

Which Side of the Line Numbers Puzzle

It’s been very interesting to listen to my students share their theories this week about whether 9 and 10 go above or below the line.

Free Download of Which Side of the Line Numbers Puzzle

Which Side of the Line – Numbers (PDF) (2281 downloads )

Which Side of the Line – Numbers (Editable Publisher File ZIP) (959 downloads )

Want more puzzles to engage your students? Check out my puzzles page!

Puzzle Solutions

I intentionally do not make answers to the printable math puzzles I share on my blog available online because I strive to provide learning experiences for my students that are non-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 with information about what you teach and where you teach. I will be happy to forward an answer key to you.


Wednesday 24th of November 2021

Hello Sarah. Thank you for sharing all those fun puzzles. I wonder how you decided on the puzzles and the day to give to students. I mean are they related to what you are teaching in class? If not, I wonder how you would manage the time between going through curriculum and those fun puzzles.

Sarah Carter

Monday 29th of November 2021

Usually, I just post the puzzles on my dry erase board and students work through them when they have extra time. Some students work on them before or after class or when they finish an assignment early. I only do whole-class puzzles on special occasions. For example, I have a puzzle I like to do on Pi Day with all of my students.

I would love to do more full-class puzzle solving, but like you mentioned, there is never enough time! Occasionally, we will have school days where assemblies/events mess up the schedule for part of the day. I will often do puzzles with my other students on these days since I like to keep all of my students in the same place in the curriculum.

Tonya King

Friday 22nd of October 2021

Are you using this as a number talk? Would you say there are multiple answers?

Sarah Carter

Wednesday 3rd of November 2021

I just posted it as a puzzle for students to stew over. You could definitely use it as a number talk, though. I think that there are multiple answers as long as students can justify them.

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