Friday, November 30, 2007

The critical thinking/debate bloc from the High School came to the woodshop today to work on their cube puzzles based on the website. My job in preparation was to cut hundreds of small cubes of walnut, cherry and maple. The students had to sand each block and then design their puzzles. Some finished a first one today. We will have finished puzzles to show next week. The students and teacher all seemed to enjoy the woodshop today as a diversion from more intensive study. Teacher Pete chose a particularly hard puzzle and then spent most of the class trying to put it together. I tried the same one and glued a part backwards so there was no way for it to ever work. I'll try again next week. This is a particularly fun project for kids, but has a valuable hidden purpose called spatial visualization, or spatial sense. Development of spatial sense is a necessary component to success is algebra and geometry as described by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) in their publication of educational Standards.

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