As promised, I’ve been trying out ideas from TeachMeet North West at Calderstones School. Here’s the first post:
My colleague J had mentioned Discovery Puzzlemaker last term, but I’d not had time to try it out. Then Fiona Bate @fibate used it as part of her presentation on ‘Profound thinking in the classroom’.
How I used Puzzlemaker
I decided to test this out on my Year 9 students – they are a bright bunch and there are a lot of them. I put out tile puzzles on sheets of A5 and the class settled to the starter task, after they’d got their books out. There were lots of different strategies and eventually everyone cracked the code – the formula for the area of a circle.
The funniest part was later in the lesson. A student put his hand up and said he couldn’t remember the rule for the area of a circle. More than one of his peers pointed out he’d just spent ten minutes cracking a code where the rule was given and it was still on his desk in front of him!
Luke O’Hanlon @funkwalkee did a presentation on ‘Ways to engage with Learning Objectives’. This linked nicely with using Puzzlemaker to discover the aim of the lesson, as well as encourage independent learning and problem solving. Once the class had cracked the code they knew what they’d be doing that day.
As you can see, Discovery Puzzlemaker is a really useful tool. I’m going to use some of the larger puzzles as homework tasks for my lower ability classes as I can tailor them to their specific needs. I’m starting with the ‘Hidden Message’ task to reinforce circle vocabulary.
Thank you to J, Fiona and Luke for sharing this site/their ideas.