As an absolutely crucial strand of the curriculum for children of all ages, Maths is on the timetable almost every day for a decade of their school life. Needless to say that’s a lot of lessons, which can easily become very repetitive and even worse, for those who struggle in that area, they can become a huge source of frustration and resentment. As we all know, Maths isn’t just adding and taking away, it’s more than just numbers. Problem Solving and Reasoning is a huge part of this.
With changes to the National Curriculum over the years, it’s more important than ever for us to change with it. One of the biggest areas we’ve seen as needing that little bit more attention in the classroom is Problem Solving and Reasoning; finding solutions and using logical thinking to make sense of an idea.
So… how do we meet these needs?
There are a great selection of games out there that encourage some sort of problem solving and reasoning. Often when running Problem Solving activities, we introduce competitive team play. Children are put in mixed ability groups and the whole class and their teams participate in the same activity, often by using a projector to show the card or game component on a larger scale on the classroom whiteboard.
As well as this, we use some of our favourite Maths games, but modify these so we incorporate a more problem based learning ‘edge’ to them. Here are some of the fantastic games we use and the benefits of these.
Logic Cards are a set of logic, geometry, and mathematical tasks to tease the brain. As well as working out to puzzles on each card (a fantastic class team activity!) you can download an augmented reality app, that shows you animated solutions for each challenge. A great way for the class to see how a problem should be solved. The challenges on the cards have various difficulty levels, so all abilities are able to participate equally. As an Imagination Gaming Award Winner, Logic Cards are a fantastic classroom tool.
Cortex Challenge tests memory, cognition, and sensory perception. It even includes texture cards that are used during ‘Touch Challenges’, where players must guess what they are feeling, adding a unique element that is often neglected in games. Players’ brain powers are stretched to the max as they race to be the first to match symbols, correctly remember all objects on a card or find the route out of mazes, amongst many other tests! Winning challenges allows players to add pieces to their brain puzzle which they must complete before their opponents in order to win. Again, a great one to use as a class and one to really test and expand their mental abilities.
Take it Easy!
One we sometimes use in our Inter-School Tournaments, “Take it Easy!” is a popular one. It’s a puzzle, a maze and a game! You place numbered pieces one at a time on the board and try to form continuous rows of colour from edge to edge. It gets harder as the number of empty spaces on your board and your possible choices diminish. Everyone has the same chance as everyone else, because everyone plays the same tiles in the same order, so a great one for different abilities.
As well as these, we also love the following games
- City of Zombies
- Unlock! (Our BIGGY!)
Our sessions focus on the skills needed by every pupil to help them improve their basic ability whatever their age, but can also be used to push the more gifted students who are excelling in class. The games are ideal for showing how to apply what’s been learned – and they have a very ‘cool’ appeal which helps to make Maths more fun.
If your school is looking for ways to build and encourage Problem Solving and Reasoning in the classroom, then get in touch.
You can email us at [email protected] and we’d be happy to answer any questions!