Monday, 11 August 2014

Puzzles for learning

I am an absolute puzzle fiend. There is nothing I love more than stealing away with the daily newspaper and completing the sudoku puzzle sipping on a coffee.
I love word puzzles, number puzzles, 1000pc puzzles, wasjigs, logic puzzles, rubix cubes, anything that can be solved, I want to solve it.

Today I got to share some of that love with my learners by doing Tangram puzzles as part of our Geometry learning in Maths. Students got to explore the different shapes, using rotation & translation, we used the 7 tangram pieces to make other shapes. Learners worked in teams of three to problem solve and collaborate. 

I remember part of my love of problem solving and puzzles came from my year 5/6 teacher Mrs Robertson. She would talk us all through how to complete Logic Puzzles [Figure 3]. We would do these for 10 minutes at a time gradually working through the puzzles together. After a while I became more confident and more independent in these puzzles, and my love for puzzles grew. 

Today was a great experience for me to share one of my passions with my learners. I look forward to exposing them to more puzzles as the year goes on. If you've shared puzzles with your learners I would love to hear any insight on how best to introduce and scaffold them, or any good online sources for them. 

[Figure 3]
P.S. The answer to the problem at the top is 9.

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