Amazing Minds

Teachers

How many times have you purchased or received materials for your students without ideas for implementation?  We provide ideas and resources so you can successfully implement and scaffold challenges for all students!

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Do you want to consider or purchase a variety of logic and critical thinking resources?  Here are some we recommend:

Paper and Digital Resources for Logic and Problem Solving
Teacher Resource Websites
Professional Organizations
IIndividual Strategy Games and Puzzles
Websites:  Logic Puzzles and Problem Solving
Websites:  Interactive Math Games

 

Paper and Digital Resources for Logic and Problem Solving
  • Perplexing Placement PuzzlesThese logic puzzles are designed to improve sequential reasoning skills and increase your ability to perceive and define relationships.  These types of puzzles are on the LSAT for a reason!
  • Perplexing Logic Puzzles Using Venn DiagramsImprove logical thinking skills while developing and applying algebraic concepts!  These also increase your ability to understand classifications and set theory.  I highly recommend this for middle school and algebra classes!
  • Building Problem Solving StrategiesThese problems are challenging and introduce a variety of problem-solving strategies, such as drawing pictures, creating a table, finding a pattern, algebraic reasoning, and more!  Each level includes 18 problems and an answer key.  There are detailed teacher notes to explain the strategy and how students might approach the problem.
  • Problem of the Week - Do you want to encourage and promote problem-solving with all students?  Begin a ‘Problem of the Week’ contest for your school, grade level, or classroom! These puzzles were designed for a school-wide initiative, although they can also be used in individual classrooms. 

  • Balance BendersThis series of books uses balances and objects to represent equations.  The puzzles build algebraic thinking in younger students and are a great way to visually represent systems of equations for middle school students.
  • Weight LogicWeight Logic by Marcy Cook are similar to Balance Benders.
  • Connections Logic PuzzlesThere are many books of classic deductive logic puzzles, but this series is my favorite!  In addition to using deduction, students must apply connections between clues.
  • Chinese Brain Twisters and More Chinese Brain Twisters - Use these puzzles with toothpicks to help build logical and visual thinking!  These ancient Chinese puzzles are wonderful!  For ideas on how to use these, visit our Mind-Bending Monday episode on this topic!
Teacher Resource Websites
  • youcubed - This website has many resources! This should definitely be the first resource you use for research and materials on growth mindset, but have you explored the resources for visual mathematics, fluency, and more? They have posters, research papers, lessons, online courses and videos, and more!
  • NRich - You may not be familiar with this University of Cambridge site, but it is full of rich mathematical challenges! They have challenges for early years through secondary education. You can also sort by topic. To see an example of how one problem can be differentiated, search for ‘Peaches Today, Peaches Tomorrow…’, which has four options.
  • Open Middle - Open Middle problems are designed so there are many ways to find the solution.
  • Which One Doesn’t Belong - These are good ‘high ceiling, low floor’ tasks. Once you see several examples, you will want to create your own!
  • Would You Rather Math - These K-12 questions ask students to make a choice and justify their response.
  • Visual Patterns - These patterns can be used in a variety of ways! Students in grades 4-5 can explain and extend the pattern, while middle school students can write equations using variables!
  • Dan Meyer - Dan Meyer created Three-Act Math Tasks, and his are amazing! Most are for middle and high school students. If you want inspiration as a math teacher, watch his TED talk!
  • Graham Fletcher - Graham Fletcher has three-act tasks, progression videos, and more for elementary students.
  • Robert Kaplinsky - Robert Kaplinsky has a variety of lessons and ideas. One of my favorite lessons is ‘What Fraction of Children are in the Right Car Seat?’ for fourth grade students.
  • Greg Tang Word Problems - These are basic application problems without extra information, but they do have ‘hints’ for students who are struggling with word problems. This is a great resource for parents to use, also.
  • Figure This! Math Challenges - This site is sponsored by NCTM and offers a variety of math problems! Be sure to try challenges 20 and 30!
  • Esti-Mysteries - This is part of Steve Wyborney’s blog post.  Students estimate first, then use given clues to refine their estimate.  The mysteries are free and ready to use!
  • Math Maven’s Mysteries - This has links to a variety of logic and skill-based problems that are rated by difficulty level.
  • Brain Teasers and Math Puzzles - This has a variety of brain teasers and are ranked by difficulty.

Professional Organizations
Websites: Logic Puzzles and Problem Solving
  • Figure This! Math Challenges - This site is sponsored by NCTM and offers a variety of math problems! Be sure to try challenges 20 and 30!
  • Math Maven’s Mysteries - This has links to a variety of logic and skill-based problems that are rated by difficulty level.
  • Brain Teasers and Math Puzzles - This has a variety of brain teasers and are ranked by difficulty.
  • Puzzlers Paradise - These are classic deductive logic puzzles. You can either solve them interactively or print a copy to take with you!
  • Greg Tang Word Problems - These are basic application problems without extra information, but they do have ‘hints’ for students who are struggling with word problems. This is a great resource for parents to use, also.

 

Websites and Games: Interactive Math Games

* These incorporate basic math facts but also require critical thinking.

  • Product Game - You have to know basic multiplication facts to play, but strategic thinking is required to win! Play against a friend or against the computer.
  • Kakooma - Use basic facts (either addition or multiplication) to quickly evaluate options and beat the time limit.
  • 24! Game  - Use basic facts (either addition or multiplication) and use each number once and only once with a goal of 24.
  • 24! Game: Double Digit  - Use basic facts (either addition or multiplication) and use each number once and only once with a goal of 24.

 

 

 

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