Since there are only 3 weeks (and change) of school left, I thought I would stop having a Problem of the Day word problem as my bell ringer activity and switch to something more fun. Of course, I suppose I should have remembered that fun is in the brain of the beholder.
I've got a set of overhead transparencies of logic puzzles. You know the ones -- Bozo, Schmozo, and Jimbo own a dog, a cat, and a giraffe. You get clues and fill in a grid to determine which pet goes with which kid.
Personally, I have always LOVED logic puzzles like this. Of course, I love math also, so call me screwy. When I've done logic puzzles with my 3rd graders in the past, they've enjoyed them as well.
Maybe my kids will grow into them. However, the first day was not reason to celebrate their arrival.
The first puzzle in the set involves 3 boys having their birthday parties at 3 different places. I explained to the kids how they needed to copy the grid that showed the boys' names and the place names. We read the first clue together, which said something along the lines of "Richie, and the boy who had his party at the roller rink, are best friends."
I then asked the kids, "So what does this clue tell us about Richie or the other boys?"
Several hands went into the air. I called on one of my brighter little girls.
"It tells us that they are very excited about having their birthday parties?"
"Um, they probably are, but remember we're trying to figure out WHERE each boy is having his party."
I called on another kid.
"They are happy?"
OK, I thought, this is not going in the right direction. Maybe if, instead of party locations, the top part of the grid showed emotions like Happy, Excited, and Manic-Depressive, THEN we'd be getting somewhere.
But still I pressed on. "The boys are all happy and excited, but we are looking for a clue to WHERE the boys are having their parties. What do you think?"
"I think they will have their parties at a house because those places are too expensive."
By this time, I am just about making "gagaga" sounds, flapping my lips with my finger, when finally another little girl got the clue and offered the right piece of information from the clue.
Despite the rough first outing, I am determined to stay the course here. I always thought puzzles like this really exercise the brain, and I have some kids whose brains seem to be morbidly obese.
As long as we can get past frugality and emotions...