Summer SAVY 2019: Session 1, Day 4 – Puzzles and Problem Solving (Rising 5th/6th)
I was so pleased with the students’ work on the Pirate Problem this morning! This is a problem that my (much!) older students often struggle with, and this class just tackled the issues head on and found a solution, even as they hit a stumbling block right before the finish line. It was amazing to see their enthusiasm as they neared the answer and weren’t ready to be finished with the problem.
As I have said many times, the answer to the original problem often just raises more questions, and some groups began investigating what would happen if we added more pirates to the picture. The original problem had 5 pirates, and tomorrow we will extend the problem into the hundreds of pirates!
Right before lunch, we acted out our “Three Hats” problem from the day before. It was good to see what stuck and what had not. Generally speaking, most things stuck! In our three trials, we arranged the hats so that each person “won” once, and students were able to articulate the reasons for that quite nicely!
After lunch, we spent some time looking at rebus puzzles. An example of a rebus puzzle would be “STA4NCE,” where students noticed the four inside the word stance and were able to translate that to the phrase “for instance” (four in stance). Some of these were much more challenging, and several students took the opportunity to create their own. I loved seeing their creativity!
During the final part of the day, we looked at arithmetic logic puzzles like “ELF + ELF = FOOL,” in which each letter represents a unique digit every time it appears. We gradually increased the difficulty level until we got to my favorite example of the genre: “SEND + MORE = MONEY.” This was perhaps the most challenging exercise we have done this week, but it was so exciting to me to see their enthusiasm when the answer was finally achieved.
It is hard to believe that class is almost over! There are so many things that I want to do tomorrow, and I wish we would have time for them all. There are also a few loose ends to tie up from our previously investigated problems, and we will study at least two new problems. I look forward to meeting many parents and guardians tomorrow at Open House, and I am excited to share some of the awesome things these students have done this week!
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