Yesterday we really kicked up our creative thinking skills a notch with a friendly problem-solving competition!
We divided into three teams by drawing numbers out of a paper bag. Students were asked to come up with names for their teams. Our teams were quite creative with names such as; Zen Yobi, Red Ice Pops, and the 27'ers!
Although they might have been unaware, our goals for the day were elaboration, idea defense and team work!
Each team was given 1-2 problems to solve in a time frame of anywhere from two to ten minutes for each problem or problem set. Children could work individually, but after arriving at an answer, must consult with their teammates before submitting the team's final answer. It was necessary to work quietly as any blurting of answers could cost your team a point. The students worked beautifully at this, and nary an answer was revealed.
After the three teams had submitted an answer privately to the moderator, each team in rotation had a chance to present their solution to the group. If correct, the team scored an additional point above and beyond the question's stated point value, if wrong, the team lost a point! We learned an incredibly important lesson. Quick judgement of a problem often led to incorrect answers and lost points. More thoughtful consideration of a problem led to more correct answers and more points! Understanding that more can lie beneath the surface than appears at first glance is crucial to unraveling many of life's answers, including thinking circle questions. :0)
Congratulations to the 27'ers for squeaking by with a one point win over Zen Yobi! We finished the day with a Sudoku Puzzle challenge. I provided each child with four puzzles, a few of them were able to complete the first one successfully, however, many students found them frustrating. If you would like to look over the puzzles this week with your student, I would encourage you to try to solve them together, as it may lead to a more relaxed view of the problem. This is an optional activity, but I'd like them to feel positive about the experience.
Next week we'll be discussing, discovering and expressing visually the beauty of Infinity.
We use curriculum from Art of Inquiry, LLC.