Day 90 (of 183) National Puzzle Day

Day 90 (of 183) National Puzzle Day

I called today’s theme: a day of maths – but it really focused around national puzzle day

I like puzzles – from rebus to jigsaw to …. well anything that makes your brain itch! As an example, I LOVE math guru Trevor Culkins and his “good question” approach to math: give a good question and let them struggle (just meaning don’t rescue too soon – don’t leave them in a zone of frustration, but it’s okay to be frustrated at times). Today’s first problem: two numbers add up to 1/2. What are the numbers?

I love it when there are multiple answers and can be differentiated to go from drawing circles and shading in 1/2s and 1/4s (and then talking more about what a quarter means!) to extending it to using negative integers! For me, this is valuable rigor -thinking deeper about one question, not doing 50 of the same questions at a superficial level!

We then extended our study into rigor by going to the lab to work on some jigsaw puzzles. While I like the tactile feel to real puzzles and love the challenge of 3D puzzles, the lab lets us explore puzzles in a differentiated mindset – by putting some links on my virtual assignments page the students can challenge themselves as they see fit. Some starting with 12 piece puzzles others trying triple digit ones!

Rigor takes:


An understanding that frustration isn’t forever

Knowing that sometimes the brain needs a distraction (right now my family is absorbed by a word scramble app and every now and then we “switch”to take a look at another’s screen to see if we can see what they have become blind to (a word within letters –> also a fabulous spelling reinforcement tool which my youngest has identified it as and thus doesn’t play it as often as the rest of us)

And an appreciation that sometimes things take time. And trial and error. And a variety of other strategies (working from edge pieces or from the Center? More than one right way!)

So what better activity after “consuming”some puzzles than to make some!

With some differentiated approaches – original drawing or finding image

But putting colour drawing on the back of the template so the nasty black lines aren’t seen…with a piece of card stock between she pieces of paper to give it some “solid-ness”

Glad that I noticed that an interesting “event day” was occurring as a link between our Unplu & Play week and the upcoming Global Day of Play.

A day of critical and creative thinking!

About technolandy

Principaling on the Pacific in Powell River BC Pushing 'technologization' in education: blending technology and curriculum seamlessly. Advocate for better understanding of Anxiety in Education (and use of self-regulation) Utilizing ePortfolios & Descriptive Feedback to personalize learning!
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