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Puzzles and Classrooms - 4/28/2004 9:43:42 AM   
GreatGram

 

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Dave has asked me to open a new forum on Puzzles and Classrooms. He wants me to describe work that Conceptis is doing to enable teachers to use Conceptis puzzles to help children learn something that is already in the curriculum, in addition to developing puzzle-solving logic skills and experiencing the joy of intellectual success.

For the last decade, I have taught Graduate In-Service courses for teachers involving development of puzzles for classroom use. The last three years have been taught entirely on-line. I plan to add one in the Fall entitled "Applications of Picture-Forming Logic Puzzles for Classroom Use" if there is enough material ready for children.

One project that is almost ready is the characters of a computer keyboard. Each child's puzzle is a single character of 10x15 pixels. These pieces will then be combined by the class to produce poster-sized computer keyboards, one upper-case and one lower-case. There are 94 characters including all printable characters that they are likely to find. The non-standard size and labelled control keys (Shift, Enter, Space, Backspace, etc.) are not included and can be made and added by the children depending on the keyboard they are used to using. These characters can also be used to discuss pixels and the fact that all TV/computer screens use discrete pixels, not solid blocks of color. There must be many other classroom uses for these character sets. Bulletin Board Messages? Hall displays? Word Banks? Any suggestions?

The characters were made by first using Paint to produce a full set of characters from text Arial 8 point type. This was converted to .bmp and then run through the Conceptis LAP software, using a maximum path length of 10 pixels. I have now converted them into a Word document, which I will make available to this forum soon. Dave has also indicated that he will repeat these procedures for a maximum path length of 7, which may -or may not - be better for the littler ones. We shall see. These will also be available on this forum. I would appreciate your suggestions.

Another Conceptis project involves a large colored World Map puzzle, composed of 60 smaller puzzles that will form pieces of the large map. Each child would do 2-3 LAP puzzles, then work as a team to combine them, as in the Computer Keyboard project. The large ocean areas contain interesting fish, whales, dolphins, etc., while the countries contain appropriate animals such as pandas, polar bears, penguins, etc. Children could then label the countries, oceans and work up written or oral reports on their puzzle pieces. MrSharp has been working hard on this for his classroom, and I welcome his comments as well as attachments. I hope this will also be ready for my Fall course.

Conceptis is also working on a Presidents' Gallery of Presidential portraits. These could be shown in a display along with student research reports. These may not be ready for awhile. I hope they will be ready for me to use.

Suggestion has also been made for a "zoo", with each child making a LAP puzzle for a particular caged animal. Also for a "petting zoo" of domestic animals. Also for dinosaurs. Each child could research and make a report on his "own" animal. Perhaps Conceptis has .bmp images of these and could adapt them to appropriate children's LAP use.

Another suggestion from a Biology teacher is a poster of the human skeleton , using perhaps 20 smaller puzzles to make the larger one.
The parts would then be labelled by the students who made each piece. Reports could follow.

The priority is to develop puzzles that can be used to help teach something that the children are already expected to learn. They love appropriate puzzles of all kinds, probably because they usually result in immediate success. My teacher/students are enthusiastic about using them in general and look forward to these new types.
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RE: Puzzles and Classrooms - 4/29/2004 4:22:54 AM   
GreatGram

 

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Here is the earlier promised link to the LAP Character-set for the Computer Keyboard project.

www.conceptispuzzles.com/puzzlefans/forum/images/ABCmax10.zip

I hope you will download and try as many as you have patience for. Remember, they are for use in school classrooms to help children learn something and we need your comments and suggestions. I anticipate that Conceptis will make available another set with maximum path length of 7. These are 10.

Happy puzzling!

(in reply to GreatGram)
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RE: Puzzles and Classrooms - 5/5/2004 7:19:59 AM   
GreatGram

 

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94 small LAP puzzles suitable for kids. Just link to www.conceptispuzzles.com/puzzlefans/forum/images/ABCmax10.zip
All comments welcome.

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RE: Puzzles and Classrooms - 5/5/2004 9:22:12 AM   
Cyclone

 

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No offense, but you posted that twice.

I'll give some of these a shot; if it helps, I'll even time myself at them as well.

Cyclone

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RE: Puzzles and Classrooms - 5/8/2004 9:17:24 AM   
GreatGram

 

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Hi, Cyclone

Thanks for helping out. We really need feedback (which explains my double-post). Dave will soon be working on the max-length 7, which should give us some comparison with the 10s. I hope others will also help us out on this experiment.

I hope this project will point the way for Conceptis to help children learn something.

Happy puzzling!

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RE: Puzzles and Classrooms - 5/10/2004 11:19:30 PM   
meepbobeep

 

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What kind of feedback are you looking for on this?

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RE: Puzzles and Classrooms - 5/13/2004 10:41:40 AM   
GreatGram

 

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The computer keyboard project described in the first posting now has 94 more LAP puzzles, this time with maximum path length of 7.

www.conceptispuzzles.com/puzzlefans/forum/images/ABCmax7.zip

I hope some of you will try both the max 10 and max 7 and will compare them for suitability for elementary school children. Please add comments and suggestions for this project. Is it educationally worthwhile? If so, for which grades? What other uses for the letters might be feasible in a classroom? Might a teacher use this to teach a lesson about pixels?

Thanks for your help. We need all we can get.

(in reply to GreatGram)
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RE: Puzzles and Classrooms - 5/13/2004 10:44:38 AM   
GreatGram

 

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Oops! Problems with uploading the file. Try

www.conceptispuzzles.com/puzzlefans/forum/images/ABCmax7.doc

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Post #: 8
RE: Puzzles and Classrooms - 5/14/2004 11:26:30 PM   
sharonella

 

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Hi All!

I've been "away" too long! These keyboard puzzles seem GREAT! I'm going to enlarge tne a bit and share them with my 6 year old niece, as well as some of the kids I see at ceramics class on Saturday (they're a bit older - mostly 10 to 13 year olds). I'll see what they think!

Of course, I've got to try them myself!

Thanks!
sharonella

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RE: Puzzles and Classrooms - 5/28/2004 8:37:08 AM   
MrSharp

 

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Hi everybody!
My students started on Monday working on the World Map puzzle GreatGram mentioned earlier, and they're really enjoying it! Each kid took one puzzle to work on in their spare time, at recess, at lunch, or at home. Most of the kids returned Tuesday morning with their piece finished and eager to put it on the board and start another piece.
I printed each puzzle using Adobe's "fit to page", so they're each about 7" square. The entire picture (it's 60 pieces in all) is almost 6 feet long and almost 4 feet tall! I've taken some pictures of the kids' work which I'll post here soon.
Just wanted to mention that things are going well, and the kids are VERY excited about the project

We're planning to put the puzzle on this forum soon. Stay tuned!
Mike

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RE: Puzzles and Classrooms - 5/28/2004 12:54:40 PM   
Cyclone

 

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I am curious about the World Map puzzle...eagerly awaiting a link.

Cyclone

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RE: Puzzles and Classrooms - 5/30/2004 7:28:58 PM   
MrSharp

 

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Cyclone,
We'll have the link posted here soon. I would suggest you recruit some friends, however, since it might be a bit tedious to do 60 of these, especially if you already know what the picture will be
Mike

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Post #: 12
RE: Puzzles and Classrooms - 5/31/2004 2:20:32 AM   
Cyclone

 

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Tedious? These puzzles are fun, in fact...if they're LAPs, they should be simple enough, NEway.

Cyclone

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Post #: 13
RE: Puzzles and Classrooms - 6/2/2004 5:43:01 AM   
MrSharp

 

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Ok, I assume everyone's already finished all 12 freebies and the review puzzle (it is Tuesday, after all! )

So here's the link to the big world puzzle jigsaw:

http://www.conceptispuzzles.com/puzzlefans/forum/images/mystery%20pieces.zip (801.26 KB)

The P files are the puzzles and the S files are the solutions. Arrange the puzzles in 10 columns and 6 rows; Numbering is Columns A-J, rows 1-6. We printed them to fill the page and it was about 6 feet by 4 feet...Wallpaper anyone?

Thanks to Dave and Amit for making this happen!
Mike

Happy puzzling!

(in reply to GreatGram)
Post #: 14
RE: Puzzles and Classrooms - 6/7/2004 7:35:48 AM   
GreatGram

 

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Congratulations and many thanks to Dave, Amit and Mike for all their dedicated work on the World Map puzzle. This will join the Computer Keyboard puzzle as the second unit for my Fall teachers' course. Both of these units use child-appropriate puzzles to provide additional tools to help the children to learn something that is already in the curriculum. I look forward to Mike's report on his current classroom project. We hope that some of the Forum puzzlers will try these and send us some feedback, also.

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RE: Puzzles and Classrooms - 7/29/2004 7:38:09 AM   
GreatGram

 

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I am preparing my syllabus for an in-service course which I will teach in the Fall to teachers "Online Development of Educational Puzzles for Classroom Use Part 3: Applications of Picture-Forming Logic Puzzles." I will use primarily LAP and MAP puzzles adapted for children. The course will be taught entirely online, so the online tutorials are essential. Imagine my surprise today, when I tried out the LAP Tutorial, to discover that the "Learn More about Link-a-Pix" and the "Solve More Puzzles" topics were about Pic-a-Pix puzzles!!! I am sure this is a small technical oversight that can be easily fixed, and I would appreciate it if this could be done fairly soon; I need to finish my syllabus. Thanks to whoever takes care of this.

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Post #: 16
RE: Puzzles and Classrooms - 7/30/2004 3:02:22 AM   
dave

 

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Hi GreatGram

Thanks for finding this bug. We will fix it very soon.

Dave Green

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Post #: 17
RE: Puzzles and Classrooms - 7/31/2004 11:24:33 PM   
anna

 

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Hi GreatGram

Thank you for your contribution. The bug was fixed.


Anna

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Post #: 18
RE: Puzzles and Classrooms - 8/11/2004 8:47:14 AM   
GreatGram

 

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Conceptis is experimenting with a new format for portraits called Inverted Map. The link below gives the first six of these portraits, which might be referred to as the Famous Americans Gallery. (I originally suggested US Presidents, but only 3 of the current 6 fit this category.) Each child in a classroom would do a puzzle and then prepare a report on the person. Puzzle and report might then be posted on a bulletin board, contributing to a portrait gallery.

In an Inverted MAP puzzle, the True Path should be done in a thin faint line, while ALL the False Paths should be completely shaded in with black. EVERY PIXEL MUST HAVE A MARK, EITHER A FAINT LINE OR A SOLID BLOCK OF COLOR. In this way, the False Paths make up the eyes, eyebrows, nose, lips, beard, mustache, hair, etc. that need to be separated from the facial background. Otherwise, in a standard Maze procedure, they would all have to be interconnected by portions of the only True Path, and there would be extraneous lines on a blank face.

www.conceptispuzzles.com/puzzlefans/forum/images/InvertedMapPuzzles.zip

I hope that many of our puzzlers will try these. They are intended for children and should not take up a lot of an adult's time. Please do let us know your comments, and those of your children, since Conceptis intends to pursue publication if the evaluation is good.

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RE: Puzzles and Classrooms - 9/23/2004 9:50:49 PM   
GreatGram

 

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My syllabus is ready for an online course I am teaching for teachers. www.pollyspuzzles.com

Click on Part 3. I would appreciate any comments and suggestions. What questions would you like to have answered in their reports? (See Unit Reports and the Final Report). My teacher-students will be posting to this forum as they finish each Unit.

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Post #: 20
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