Category Archives: elements of Design

Teaching Thinking Strategies to Students Through Collaborative Puzzle Solving

Problem Solving Through Strategic Thinking
Click to Mix and Solve
I have created this jigsaw from the Creative Commons of Wikipedia.  (Click on image and jigsaw will open)
It is a very clear illustration of two aspects that can come about from using puzzles in the classroom.

Student collaboration when solving the puzzle and the strategic thinking required to work out how to

  • locate
  • select
  • match
  • group
  • and judge

the pieces by

  • using the edges
  • the frame
  • and other markers which occur within the interior design

Most people work around the edges of jigsaws to at least have some of the pieces in place and to have a starting point from which to begin assemblage.

Click on the link below to take the POLL
How do you like to get started with Jigsaws?

The next thing most people do is to find one land mark in the picture around which to cluster pieces so that when this can be located against the edge it will begin to lock into shape.

This naturally occasion of collaboration can be  a great space within which to talk with students about their collaborative skills.

You might ask them questions such as

  • How does it feel when someone wants to solve the problem using a different strategy to you?
  • What is the hardest thing about working in a group?
  • What was the most helpful aspect of working out this puzzle in a group?
  • Would you rather work on a puzzle in a group or alone? (Why)

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