With exams right around the corner, students are worried about studying specific concepts and practicing similar problems to those that they feel may be on the exam. However, students must not forget that they need to practice problem solving. They need to feel comfortable and confident when they see a problem that looks unfamiliar or particularly challenging at first glance. In order to build their confidence, students in Algebra II took a break from the course content. For the last few days, students worked in teams to solve unique problems from the book, 101 Puzzle Problems, by Dublin School graduate, Buddy Bates, and Sanderson M. Smith.
These brilliant problems required students to: search for squares within squares, examine races between tortoises and hares, arrange matches so that they all touch, brake down a contractor's construction costs, count triangles inside a drawing of a cat, and turn 3 squares into 5 squares.
It was amazing to watch students think, argue, collaborate, draw, erase, persist, correct, cheer, and high five while working through these problems with their teammates. This activity provided me with another reminder that students experience great joy when facing challenging and thought provoking problems that require great effort and time to solve. This joy lasts longer than the instant excitement one feels after solving a simple problem. GREAT WORK ALGEBRA II STUDENTS!!