Saturday, December 15, 2012

Ken Ken and Classroom Problem-Solving

I randomly copied two 7-by-7 KenKen puzzles yesterday from my book of KenKen puzzles edited by Will Shortz. (I ordered it as a teaching resource at the end of last year, and I'm thinking about using it during the last classes in Middle School before Christmas break.) And, I have to say, I had forgotten just how addicting these are! I solved the two puzzles on my way home, and by the time I got home, my hands were freezing from walking outside without gloves and I was nauseating from reading and thinking on a stop-and-go bus. But, I felt exhilarated.

I find that the process of doing KenKen puzzles is quite similar to the process of solving multi-step math problems, because you have to constantly switch back and forth between processing logical relationships / self-monitoring reasonableness of an answer, and doing arithmetic calculations (such as factoring 120 into 3 numbers that are all in the correct range of 1 to 7).

I am too lazy to copy the puzzles I did yesterday, but for those of you not familiar with KenKen puzzles, I highly recommend checking out these from NY Times . Even the small-sized grids are fun because they are not nearly as repetitive as Sudokus are. So, if you're thinking of ideas of stocking stuffers for your favorite math geeks...

1 comment:

  1. I love Kenken too, and use them as a bonus activity with my classes. Have you subscribed to the teacher email at They send you a mixed set in PDF form every week, and you can play online too. There is also an app -Kenken premium.

    Have fun!