Puzzles can make any kind of learning fun. Most students enjoy solving math puzzles, particularly those created by their peers. Puzzles may serve as an introduction to new material, provide practice in reinforcing skills, and review concepts previously introduced. With a little guidance, students can design math puzzles of their own to share with their friends. They may even wish to publish their puzzles in math magazines, or place them in their portfolios.Objectives:
- Students will work individually or in pairs to create math puzzles to share with the class.
- Suggested time is about two class periods.
- Graph paper
- Correction fluid
- Non-reproducible blue pencils
- Black felt-tipped pens
- Computers and printers that may be used in the design of puzzles
- It's Puzzling Student Guide
- Puzzles, Puzzles, Puzzles
When you introduce this project, many students may be at a loss as to how to create a math puzzle. A few days before actually starting the project, you might mention that the class will create mathematical puzzles, and suggest that students consult math puzzle books or their texts for ideas. Your school or local library will likely have many sources in the recreational math section. If you have examples of math puzzles created by students from other classes, or examples from books, make them available. The worksheet Puzzles, Puzzles, Puzzles provides some examples, but there are many more. Also, prior to beginning the project, decide if you want students to concentrate on a particular unit of study or topic, or if they will be permitted to create puzzles on any topic they wish.