Foster thinking skills in the classroom by focusing on problem solving.

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 Mathematical Problem Solving Knot Theory Problem (a personal favourite) Preparation: - Over the course of the week before this activity have children bring in a tazo. (they know what they are). - cut out about 10 pieces of cardboard in the shape of a tazo as it is rather predictable that certain students will not bring in the required materials ;) - Make sure each child has a pair of scissors. - Have some wool on hand. Method: - The Teacher Does These Steps 1. Punch two holes through a Tazo, a bayblade (or a small piece of cardboard) using a holepunch or an electric drill. 2. Loop c. 30cm of wool through the Tazo and tie it with a firm knot. 3. Tie the wool and tazo to the handle of a pair of safety scissors as shown here. The Problem - Attempt to remove the string loop by: not bending the tazo, not cutting the string or undoing the knot and then put it back on. This is a logical thinking puzzle not a brute force one. Just for Fun: - Make it that the children are not allowed to use their scissors until they solve the puzzle :) Remember: - This is 'problem solving NOT problem showing'. Do not show the solution to your friends no matter how much they whine, you will take away the a-ha feeling from them. - when they do show their friends how to do it (and they will) discuss how it is funny that no-one got the solution and then all at once heaps of people did ;) - Discuss the taking away of the a-ha feeling as a whole group. More Problem Solving More Cool Math Games
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