Using Flex to Create an Algebra Puzzle

I was inspired by an algebra puzzle, done similar to this one, so I decided to build my own.

Algebra puzzle

Also, I've got a quadratic equation version of the same puzzle available here:

Quadratic equation puzzle

The basic idea is that the students have to solve the algebra problems and then match up the solution to the problem with the problem so that they are next to each other. See the example below.

Screen shot

The idea is the equation -6x +82 = 22 has the solution x = 10, so we pair up the solution with its question so they are next to each other. Our objective is to pair up every question with its solution.

Right now, this version of the algebra puzzle doesn't let the students know when they are finished the whole puzzle. It really should give some sort of feedback, but I want to confirm that the students know how to solve the problems so I might just have the puzzle give feedback when the students complete it. A nice satisfying "Congratulations!" would be useful. As well, there are enough different combinations of boxes (including rotations) that random guess and check is going to be an ineffective way to solve the puzzles.

Reload the page (or change the settings below) to get a new randomly generated puzzle.

Nice work. Is there some way

Nice work. Is there some way to print the puzzle?

What happens if you right

What happens if you right click on the puzzle and choose print? It's just the default Flash print, but I tested it and it seems to work, although it does show the instructions at the bottom, but I suppose you can just cut that off. Also, you'll want to make sure you don't have your mouse over any of the squares.

- Oh I just took a closer look and it looks like it's gigantic, Flash doesn't seem to scale the image down to a printable size. I'll look into making printing the puzzle easier. For now, you can just take a screen-shot of the puzzle and print that.


Good idea with the screen

Good idea with the screen shot. I didn't mean to create more work for you... Thank you - for putting this together, for sharing it, and for the quick response!

It's probably not that much

It's probably not that much more work, and to be honest, I do these so I learn Flex/Actionscript better and produce something useful for my classes.

Sharing it with other people is just a fringe benefit in my opinion.



This is an awesome technique. Thanks again Dave...

A nice, free puzzle maker already available

Formulator Tarsia,, is a really nice, versatile puzzle maker of the type Dan Greene at DCP is using already.

It's only available for Windows, so that can be a drawback for some folks. But if you do have Windows, it is incredibly mature and useable.

Lorina Poland
Leland H.S.
San Jose, CA

Cool, I had no idea. Seems

Cool, I had no idea. Seems like it has a lot more features than my little puzzle generator. The minus side is the download and installation of software I guess.

I just found out about that

I just found out about that program. However, I live in pretty much a Mac only kind of world. Great for developing stuff, but not great for trying to access all the neat little things like this that are out there.

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