# How To Be A Math Expert For 3Rd Grade Kids Can Sudoku Help Students With Math?

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## Can Sudoku Help Students With Math?

Sudoku is a number puzzle game that, apparently, should be great for kids to practice their math skills. yes and no Although students manipulate numbers to solve the puzzle, they do not have to add, subtract, multiply, or divide any of these numbers. So how does playing Sudoku help with math?

First, math is more than arithmetic skills. Many of the skills needed to succeed in math go beyond arithmetic, and sometimes these skills are not practiced enough at school or at home. Some of these skills are used when playing Sudoku. Let’s take a look.

Here are some of the skills that Sudoku can help you with:

classification The Sudoku challenge is to arrange the numbers 1 through 9 in each row and column of the grid, along with those same numbers in smaller 3 x 3 grids within the larger grid. No number can appear more than once along any row, column, or 3 x 3 grid. While completing the puzzle, a student must sort, sort, and reorder these numbers. This requires a level of organization and focus that has benefits beyond math.

Visualization While new Sudoku players will write, erase, and rewrite numbers as they solve the puzzle, the more skilled player can visualize an arrangement of numbers before writing anything. Visualization is such an important skill in math. Whether it’s visualizing a geometric transformation or the next step in solving an equation, this underrated skill will give students great confidence as they solve problems. Visualization is a higher order thinking skill.

Problem solving. A student completing a Sudoku puzzle has solved a rather complex problem. The average Sudoku puzzle is much more complex than a typical word problem in arithmetic, algebra, or geometry. Although students may not believe this, most word problems focus on specific skills. Deciphering the text to arrive at the mathematical concept is the same process as solving a puzzle. In addition, Sudoku encourages students to use these math problem-solving strategies: guess and try, look for a pattern, solve a simpler problem, and use logical reasoning. Use Sudoku to improve those problem-solving skills in a low-stakes way.

By far the most important aspect of playing Sudoku is that students will have fun with numbers. This goes a long way in eliminating or preventing math anxiety from taking hold. Developing a facility with numbers is a great step towards working with abstract concepts like variables and equations.

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