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Has the dreaded look appeared? It can manifests itself in many ways.

The wild look, accompanied by limbs that can not stay still.

The dazed look on a child that has entered a world far away.

Or the look of wonder, and whatever is fascinating (normally not school related) is loudly proclaimed.

These looks appear periodically throughout he school year. Halloween, the week before Christmas (sometimes the month of December, Right??), Valentines Day, and that last month of school when all the tests are completed.

We are down to about two weeks of school, and I know the summer bug is starting to bite hard. It is not just biting my two boys, but me too. I’m ready for freedom to go and do as we please, and have a short break from planning.

So what do you do with our wonderful kiddos when the summer bug has hit? Play!! Yep, you’ve read that right. It is time to play. For public school teachers, it is a time to get out games and centers that were neglected in the push to finish all the standards. For homeschool teachers, now is a great time to get outdoors and use nature as a learning tool.

Teaching The Grid

Before you begin, you need to explain the graph. One of the hardest part for my kindergartener was understanding where to put the x. So we knew that Byson couldn’t be partners with Seymour but he wanted to put the x in the first box under Bryson, not the last box….he box that was across from Seymour.

When we do our next one, we will do a little drill first and give my little guy clues and see if he can point to the correct box. We also did the finger thing. Bring one finger down and one finger across till they meet. I think this might work best on older more coordinated children, but not so much for him. Since this is such a great skill, we will keep working on it and discussing it.


Using Logic

The other part of logic problems is …well….using logic. My kindergartener and I did our firs problem yesterday. When we had finished the last clue he was quite dismayed.

“There aren’t any more clues and I don’t know the answers.”

We looked back at our chart and found the one answer we knew. I then asked him if anyone else could live under the bed if Champ was living there. At first, he replied yes, and I knew I had been derelict in explaining that each monster had to have their own place. Once I got that cleared up, we put triangles (we used pattern blocks so the papers could be used again) in the bed column for every monster except Champ.

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Using the “power of observation” we studied our chart and we saw that Seymour had triangles next to all the places to live except the cave. We quickly put a square on the box that shows Seymour and cave, and then we knew that good old Bryson had to live in the sea.

 

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He absolutely loved them, and wanted to do another one. I told him we would do an even harder one tomorrow.

Levels of Difficulty

  1. The logic problems start easy. They are three by three grids with two clues.
  2. We then progress to a four by four.
  3. Finally, we get to five by fives.

As the puzzles get larger, the clues get harder too.

  • One puzzle requires students to read an analogue clock,
  • One requires two digit addition and subtraction.
  • Another puzzles requires the students to figure out which state the monsters live in. They have to know where five states are to solve the problems. (If your students need help with states, I loved working on this site at the end of the year. It has different levels the children can work through to learn their states.)

Enjoy these last few weeks of school, and have fun “playing” with your kiddos.

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