The cost of this plastic storage containers and various puzzle sets is $226, including shipping and <a target="new" href="http://www.donorschoose.org/html/fulfillment.htm" onclick="g_openWindow('http://www.donorschoose.org/html/fulfillment.htm', 300, 800, 'fulfillwindow');return false;">fulfillment</a>.
I am a 9th Grade Math teacher in a public high school in the Bronx. More than 80% our students are on a free or reduced lunch plan.
I begin each class with a short logic or visual puzzle. It stimulates the students mind and instantly engages them in a problem solving tasks. Recently, we've been doing a lot of what I like to call “toothpick problems.” I provide them with an initial configuration of toothpicks and they have a certain amount of moves to achieve another configuration.
Not only do these problems engage all students but they appeal to all students. Interestingly enough, my lowest level math students are often the first to figure out these beginning problems. It is wonderful to see them have a successful experience in a math classroom. I encourage these students to go around and help others with the problem. This is one of the rare times when they have the upper hand in the math classroom. It builds their confidence tremendously.
I would like to move on from toothpick problems to warm up tangram problems. Tangram is a puzzle consisting of a square dived into five triangles, a square, and a rhombus that can be reassembled into many shapes. This would be an excellent next step past the toothpick problems. With tangrams they will have to manipulate more than one shape.
Not only with tangrams be a great warm up activity but they can also be used as part of the lesson. Tangrams have many mathematical applications that I hope to explore with my 9th grader students!
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