Half Fraction Snake

(MathPickle, 2013)

This is the best puzzle to introduce students to fractions. It was the third MathPickle puzzle to get into the New York Times.

Why is it so good to introduce fractions? Because only 1/2 is used – that’s the secret.

I recommend that you randomly get students to create a snake 14 segments long. Each student contributes the colour of one segment. Do this before you introduce the rules. It increases curiosity and therefore engagement.

Don’t feel intimidated by this 16 minute video. The puzzle is totally explained in the first 3 minutes.

Students can be challenged to make their own snakes. Download a printable puzzle-sheets here.

I am interested in mathematics only as a creative art.

G. H. Hardy

Standards for Mathematical Practice

MathPickle puzzle and game designs engage a wide spectrum of student abilities while targeting the following Standards for Mathematical Practice:

MP1 Toughen up!

This is problem solving where our students develop grit and resiliency in the face of nasty, thorny problems. It is the most sought after skill for our students.

MP3 Work together!

This is collaborative problem solving in which students discuss their strategies to solve a problem and identify missteps in a failed solution. MathPickle recommends pairing up students for all its puzzles.

MP6 Be precise!

This is where our students learn to communicate using precise terminology. MathPickle encourages students not only to use the precise terms of others, but to invent and rigorously define their own terms.

MP7 Be observant!

One of the things that the human brain does very well is identify pattern. We sometimes do this too well and identify patterns that don't really exist.


Please use MathPickle in your classrooms. If you have improvements to make, please contact us. We'll give you credit 😉

Gordon Hamilton

(MMath, PhD)


Lora Saarnio