http://www.artofinquiry.net/bookstore/ Go to “Math Games and Puzzles”
We started with two rings, and then went on to three. At first, I let the kids take turns moving one ring at a time, but that didn’t work; since each of the kids had their own strategy for how to solve the problem, they all started arguing with each other and saying that they were right and everybody else was wrong. Because of this, I let each of the kids take turns solving the whole puzzle, so that they would be able to complete their idea and strategy and so that they would be able to try to solve it on their own. Since there were many kids waiting to solve this puzzle (it took a few minutes for each child to complete it), I had a few children go and do some of the other puzzles (Rush Hour, Hoppers, and IZZI).
Oops! Big mistake! I meant to let them play Rush Hour Jr., not Rush Hour! They will only be able to actually solve the puzzles in Rush Hour in a couple of years. Since I accidentally brought Rush Hour to the class, they were only able to solve the first few problems (and even those were still hard for them). Rush Hour Jr. should be at their level, though.
The kids liked this game, and they were good! They quickly figured out the solutions to the problems, and on the puzzles that they couldn’t solve right away, they worked together to think of the different possibilities- working together is a very good skill for them to have, and so is continuing to solve a problem after several tries, instead of giving up.
I explained the kids how to play this game, and they seemed to follow along, but I think that they didn’t quite understand what I was saying. Maybe in a few years this game would be good for them, but for now, it’s a bit too complicated.
This is best to be played at the end of the class, because the kids are tired by then, and this game really doesn’t use up any energy… It’s very simple, but the kids seem to love it.
Othello- kids against me
This is a nice game to play with the kids; they get to team up and play against the teacher. They liked it, and they took turns adding pieces to the board. They were actually pretty good (especially considering that this was their first time playing).