Saturday, July 27, 2019

The Power of a Puzzle in the Math Classroom




I love reading about the puzzles that Math = Love shares on her blog.  I have tried a few of them in my class with awesome results!

Here is a shot of my students as they worked to solve the Equilateral Triangle Puzzle.


Not only do I enjoy using the suggestions that Math = Love has on her blog, I also enjoy supplying my students with other puzzles I find different places.

For example,

this one I found on amazon (Wooden Puzzle Brain Teaser)



As you can see, we have that one pesky piece that just won't fit in unless you get everything in exactly the right place!

But, my favorite puzzles are the ones that I put up on the front bulletin board.  These puzzles allow students to work together and have conversations with students they normally might not talk to.  I have had students stop in from the hallway during passing period to work on these puzzles.  Kids come by after school!

There are three types we did last year on the front bulletin board:

1) Fun word puzzles...


2) Crossword Puzzles - I really like the big format of these puzzles.  I found them on amazon. (BIG Crossword Puzzles)  

Sadly, I don't have a classroom picture of these big crossword puzzles, but I will be sure to take one this year and post it!

3)  Stick Together Sticker Puzzles - These were my favorite puzzles of the entire year.

Here is an example of one of the posters that we finished around Halloween.


Here is a video that one of my students made by taking a picture of our progress each day. {This one was one we did close to the beginning of the year.}







My favorite part was the conversations that students had with each other and with me while they were working on them.  Students who didn't normally talk to each other worked together.  Students were excited to come into the classroom to see the progress on the puzzle.  They talked endlessly about what they thought the picture would be in the end.  When we finished one puzzle, they begged for another one.

{If you would like to try one of these Stick Together Puzzles yourself, see their website...Let's Stick Together}





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