Lesson Plan #: AELP-MPS0005
Submitted by: Paul Allan, Palmer High School, Palmer, Alaska
Grade Level(s): 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
- Mathematics/Process Skills
Throughout the year in all of my math and science classes I stress problem solving. Students develop a strategy list for problem solving by working with different types of problems. One unit that I have developed is based upon developing and enhancing deductive reasoning skills. I introduce deductive reasoning, through the use of Mind Bender puzzles, at the beginning of the year because it requires little traditional math knowledge and because it is the perfect situation to teach and practice cooperative grouping techniques.
For most of the activities in this unit students are in heterogeneous groups of 4, usually selected by me. The unit is generally spread out over 2-3 weeks and student produced puzzles can be generated and used for extra credit throughout the year.
To enhance student problem solving strategies and increase student ability to solve deductive reasoning problems. To bring a sense of fun and accomplishment to math and science class problem solving.
Students will be able to:
At the beginning of the unit I use materials from Mind Benders (Midwest Publications Co.) copied onto overheads and help charts copied on paper for each group.
ACTIVITIES AND PROCEDURES:
TYING IT ALL TOGETHER:
The real fun in this unit starts when the students produce their own puzzles. They have by now experienced 8 – 12 deductive reasoning puzzles and have seen how the charts can be used as an aid. Ask each student to produce a simple puzzle of his or her own making. The results are really remarkable. Some students start very simply, but then they discover that it is not too hard to make the puzzle special by adding things that are important to them.
Have the students share their puzzles with other students, copying them on overheads for class work or onto paper for individual work. An example of a puzzle produced by a student that is autobiographical follows: (The student fits the characteristics of Frank, before he moved to Alaska.)
Don, Frank, Jenny, and Ken each come from one state, either Alaska, Maine, Montana, or Oklahoma. They each speak one primary language, either English, French, Russian, or Spanish. And they each have one of four pets: a chinchilla, a dog, a hamster, or a turtle.
- Ken – Alaska, Russian, dog
- Don – Maine, French, chinchilla
- Frank – Montana, Spanish, turtle
- Jenny – Oklahoma, English, hamster
May 1994 These lesson plans are the result of the work of the teachers who have attended the Columbia Education Center’s Summer Workshop. CEC is a consortium of teacher from 14 western states dedicated to improving the quality of education in the rural, western, United States, and particularly the quality of math and science Education. CEC uses Big Sky Telegraph as the hub of their telecommunications network that allows the participating teachers to stay in contact with their trainers and peers that they have met at the Workshops.