Puzzles & Problem Solving Activities

Problem solving lessons are fantastic thinking tools for mathematics education. I use a variety of problems and mindbenders each week in class. The students get half an hour in class to solve these problems and then can take the puzzles home. This way they can involve the whole family in solving the problem.
I discuss appropriate problem solving strategies esp that 'Whinging is NOT a Problem Solving Strategy'.

I also discuss the 'A-ha' feeling that you get when you finally solve a puzzle by yourself.

*This
is the feeling you get when you solve one of these puzzles
on your own*

**Puzzle
1** - **The T Problem - **This puzzle is
not as easy as it first seems.

**Puzzle
2** - **The Scissors Problem **- an old favourite

to get you thinking.

**Puzzle
3**- **Lego Junkbot - **Junkbot is an online
puzzle that is well worth a look

**Puzzle
4**- **Chessboard Problem - **all you need
is a few old chess sets to get them guessing and checking.

**Puzzle
5** - **The Coin Over the Glass -** turn
an old pub trick into a thinking activity.

**Puzzle
6 - The Soma Cube - **Build
some long lasting puzzles for your classroom.

**Puzzle
7 - The Perfect Match - **matchstick
puzzles are a great thinking tool.

**Puzzle
8 - Puzzle Search - **Have
them Seek Out Challenge and Frustration and share
it with the class.

**Puzzle
9 Rush Hour** - **Hint **Leave
the puzzle set up with a note that says, 'Can you
do this one in only 14 steps?' - Put the challenge
out there. *(NB - This is one I always buy for classes)*

**Puzzle
10 - Traversable
Networks**

Chose
a planet on which to begin & then trace over each
path without lifting your finger.
It's harder than it looks :)

**Square
Puzzle - **Another great
puzzle to cut out & challenge your students with
:)

**Another
Square Puzzle **

- Very similar to the last :-)

**Palindrome
Puzzle** - How many ways can you find to make
the palindrome