Puzzles!

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Today’s lesson was about dinosaurs. Nicholas got to choose between Ancient Egypt, Knights and castles, or dinosaurs for this week. He chose dinosaurs.

Our words for the day were: dinosaur, tyrannosaurs, carnivore, herbivore, Jurassic, and paws. We practiced those words and then did our lesson.

We did a puzzle for our lesson. It was a 2 foot by 3 foot puzzle of dinosaurs. The point of the lesson was less about dinosaurs and more about puzzle-solving. We did talk about dinosaurs as we did the puzzle and named them, talks about what they ate, and their relative sizes. But really I wanted to focus on puzzle solving.

Puzzle solving is a skill kids have to learn. It involves thinking things through and reasoning.

First we separated the pieces into edge and not-edge pieces. It’s amazing to see how difficult this is at first. By the end of sorting there were no problems.

Then I had him choose a corner piece and put it where he thought it would go. He had to look at the box and decide what hi piece looks like. It took 2 tries before he laid it on the proper spot. Then he had to build from there.

It was hard to let him do it an not jump in. I wanted, many times, to stop him and say “Does that piece really look like it goes there?” He didn’t always make the best matching choices. But he did it. It took an hour, but he did it.

By the end he was better about finding matching colors to help guide him. He also started judging relative sizes better for what pieces fit where.

But the best thing was seeing him undo the puzzle and do it again because “I like doing this.”

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