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Topic: Puzzle time - Share your critical thinking skill builders

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Subject: Puzzle time - Share your critical thinking skill builders
Date Posted: 6/26/2009 9:36 PM ET
Member Since: 3/7/2008
Posts: 114
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During the winter months we set up a puzzle table and puzzle time is a part of our school day.  That way I can do reading with each child while the others work on the puzzle.  I would like to add some more brain building activities other than just puzzles.  It needs to be something that they can work on independently.  What are some ways that you teach critical thinking skills?  Please share your ideas.  I did order a few books after searching "mensa" and "children".  Ar e there specific titles or search terms that you recommend?

Subject: Analogies
Date Posted: 6/27/2009 12:05 PM ET
Member Since: 3/21/2009
Posts: 4,842
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Would you be interested in Analogies? I have keeper workbooks on analogies, my grandson loves them. They're like games, but 2 dimensional. They have little boxes you fill for deductive reasoning skills. There are all sorts of interesting activities you can do with analogies for reasoning skills.



Date Posted: 6/27/2009 11:42 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2008
Posts: 662
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How about Tangrams?  You can pick up a plastic set at a teacher's store, or just cut out your own from card stock.  Then either print out a stack of puzzles (pictures to create from the Tangram shapes) or find a book of Tangram puzzles for them to solve.  (There is also a game that uses Tangrams.  It uses two sets of Tangrams and a deck of cards with Tangram puzzles to solve.  The game is called Tangoes; we picked it up at a thrift store.  I know there are websites of Tangram puzzles; you could always make your own set of cards from online sources.

Edited to add:  I just noticed someone has a cool-looking Tangrams book posted.  Check it out: www.paperbackswap.com/book/details/9780486234366-Fun+With+Tangrams+Kit+120+Puzzles+With+Two+Complete+Sets+of+Tangram+Pieces+Entertain+with+MindBoggling+Puzzles+Big+Books+for+Hours+of.

We also have a puzzle game called Brick-by-Brick that we picked up at a thrift store.  The game comes with plastic bricks stuck in Tetris-like configurations, and a deck of cards with shapes you have to figure out how to make with the brick configurations you have (similar to Tangrams).  Both Tangoes and Brick-by-Brick have the answers on the back of the cards, so kids can check their own work.

Another thrift store game find:  a wooden Shut-the-Box game, which can also be played solo.  The player rolls two dice, and then flips down either those two numbers, or the sum of the numbers, or--I think--any two numbers that make that sum.  The goal:  to get all the numbers flipped down.  The strategy:  to figure out when it's better to flip down the sum or the parts.  Surprisingly addictive considering it's a math game.  :)

Last Edited on: 6/27/09 11:51 PM ET - Total times edited: 2