Hoppe Ninja Math – Teacher Blog

Algebra Ideas

Search and Shades

on September 7, 2012

I love Search and Shades, and most of the kids do, too.  Search and Shades are worksheets with practice problems.  The students do the problems and are able to self-check by looking for the answer in the grid.  Then, they shade the squares a certain way to create a design.

When I started teaching 17 years ago, I saw some other students doing fun-looking worksheets from a book.  I didn’t have the book, and too shy to ask to borrow it, I started making my own.

They began similar to the book, where patterns were created, but then I started doing actual THINGS and popular cartoon characters.  I loved making them, whenever I had the time.

I use them for practice, usually in class, so I can monitor and help students.  When they finish, they can do the optional coloring.  I don’t require them to do the coloring, but I do give a very, very small amount of extra credit if it looks good.  I hate to say it but some of the characters have really motivated students to do the work!

Unfortunately, most of those worksheets were created for 6th and 7th grade math, which I no longer teach.  So, as a review the first week of school, we do several of my favorites (until they are sick of them for awhile!).  We use them to review Order of Operations, Decimal Operations, Fraction Operations, and Integer Operations.  I get a good feel for where my students are at, while they work on the worksheets.  However, I have to reinforce that they do ALL of the problems before they begin to color.

In the past couple of years they have created books for PreAlgebra, Algebra 1, and Geometry and the designs are a lot more fancy then the original Arithmetic book that I finally received from a departing teacher.

Check them out…some have sample activities to download.  There is even a Pre-Calculus one coming out this year!  Thanks Jacobs Publishing (-:





So here are some of my versions.

Bart Simpson Decimal Operations (really old, so I only have the PDF) Decimal_Operations_Bart


Cartman Fraction Operations CARTMAN_S&S_all_fraction_operations

Order of Operations

ooo pdf (its an old one, so no actual file, just a scan)






There are many that I have created.  I will post more as I use them during the year.










22 Responses to “Search and Shades”

  1. These are amazing! I love what you have created and would love to see more about the Order of Operations! 🙂

  2. MsUyehara says:

    Ooh Cartman! Haven’t seen that one before!

  3. druinok says:

    Wow! I’ve used some of the pre-made ones, but never thought about making my own. Love it! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

  4. These are AWESOME! As I was reading the article, I kept thinking “Oh, good, she’s going to share an order of operations one” but then I got to the end and only pictures, no link!:) Would you mind sharing the order of operations one or just sending me a link (@aeakland)? I teach sixth grade this year for the first time in 10 years, so any of the sixth grade ones you aren’t using anymore would be welcomed in my class!! 🙂 🙂

    I would love a blog post on HOW to make these. 🙂

  5. Carby says:

    Wow! I’ve never seen these before! Great stuff!

  6. Aline says:

    I love it, my students too !
    making math with fun !

    Thank you very much !

  7. Karen Feng says:

    I love these, and my students love them, too!
    Thank you so much for sharing!!

  8. Adrienne says:

    Thank you for sharing my students love these. Do you have any others?

  9. ms. garnes says:

    do you have anything on negative exponents

  10. Mrs. G says:

    I was so excited to find this site. I remember doing worksheets like this in school and how it motivated me to work to find out the image in the end. I am a 7th grade Science teacher, but we work on Math 2 days a week for Advisory. Do you have any new ones? Also, could you explain the easiest way to create your own?


    • Kristin says:

      Hi! I have a lot that I haven’t had time to scan. I have been making them for over 15 years! Now I am at the point that I am reusing the designs for the topics I don’t teach anymore.

      I usually use grid paper to make a design. I write down how many of each shading there are and split it among 6 to 10 problems. I write the answers in the grid, if they are small, or make a key with letters if they don’t fit. Finally I type up the problems and insert a table using Microsoft Word.

  11. Dwayne Wood says:

    These are awesome. I will be using your trinomial factoring ones tomorrow.

    If you have anymore for Algebra I, I would love to have a copy.

    Thanks for posting these.

  12. JC says:

    I’m a first year teacher and have never seen this kind of activity. This is great to use with students. I love this!!!

  13. Gabriel says:

    Thank you so much! All of these are amazing; I cannot wait to try them in my 7th and 8th grade math classes!

  14. PCMath says:

    Thanks! This are great. My students will love doing this.

  15. Justina says:

    Do you sell you 6th and 7th grade worksheets on Teachers pay Teachers? I would love to see more. I am a 7th grade math teacher. Thanks for sharing!

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