We had a very interesting and fun first class together on Monday! Some of the topics we covered were problem diversity, multiple solutions, hidden assumptions, and diagrams (including stock and flow). We attempted to define "thinking" and "not thinking." The consensus seemed to be that it is never possible to not think, as the very act of not thinking, is in itself…thinking. Good stuff!
In addition to several hands-on problems and questions, we started the Math Lab handout on patterns. If your student didn't get a chance to finish, please have them do this at home. If you can, try to resist helping until the student has exhausted several attempts at a solution.
I also passed out a tangram puzzle (that students should cut out) along with a challenge sheet 1. The tangram puzzle is said to have been invented in China, possibly thousands of years ago. The object is to arrange the seven pieces into various shapes by just looking at the outline of the solution. The translation from the original Chinese name literally means, "seven boards of skill." A color copy of the puzzle is HERE. If you need the challenge sheet, click HERE. Solutions are HERE. Have your student play with these this week between working on different school assignments. Again, try not to help! Let them play with several variations until they solve a puzzle or two on their own. For more challenges there is a sheet 2 on the same web-site. These are a little harder than they look -- have fun!