Thursday, February 26, 2015

Thinking Skills Puzzles from TeacherLED

TeacherLED is such a great resource for math interactive whiteboard activities. 
I absolutely love the set of 10 Thinking Skills Puzzles they have!
They are challenging and would be great to use whole class but 
since they also work on iDevices, they would also be great to use as stations!  

At the start of the puzzle the crates numbered 1 to 4 run across the top and the crate 5 to 8 run across the bottom. The challenge is to place the top crates at the bottom and vice versa. They must still run in order though. Only one crate can be in a square at a time and they may not move through each other. It can be solved in a minimum of 41 moves but solving is challenge enough for most! Tap a crate and then tap the square you would like it to move to. This counts as a single move, regardless of the number of squares the crate passes through.

Swap tiles so that each number in the triangle is the absolute difference between the two numbers below. The absolute difference is effectively the same as subtracting the smaller number from the larger number, whatever order they appear in.
The bottom numbers will always appear as correct as there are no numbers below to produce them. Note that the resource tells you when the absolute difference is correct but NOT that the tile is in the correct place to solve the puzzle.
Warning: This puzzle is a challenge!  

Choose your start point from any of the circular nodes on the grid. You must then visit each straight section in only 19 moves. They will fade out to show they have been visited. As there are 17 straight pieces and the minimum you can complete this puzzle in is 19 you will obviously have to revisit a couple of straight sections. You can only move along the grid lines one circle at a time and each of these counts as one move.

In this puzzle you must arrange the pattern of shapes so that there are 4 octagons followed by 4 stars with the 2 blanks on the far right. The twist with this puzzle is that every time you move the two shapes they flip relative positions. This makes it a bit harder to visualize your strategy and offers a simple to understand, but challenging to solve, puzzle. The top blue bar lets you select which two shapes to move while the lower blue bar will move the selected two shapes. 
 You must always move two shapes.

In this puzzle each row, column and the two diagonal lines add up to 12. The catch is that one of the numbers cannot move and must be locked before the tiles can start to be moved. After this the puzzle works like any other slide puzzle where you must try to meet the finishing condition by sliding the tiles into position. The blank counts as zero for working out the sums. The puzzle can be solved in just 19 moves but a good way to solve it is to try to work out the correct finish position first and, from that, which tile never moves. Tapping a tile will cause it to move into the blank if its a valid horizontal or vertical move.

When the resource opens you will see that both multiplication calculations give the same result of 3634. The highest number that can be the answer for both calculations using each of the nine digits once is 5568. The challenge is to arrange the numbers until both calculations equal 5568. The resource will take care of the calculating but the player will have to think hard about the results of multiplication to make progress. Random moving of tiles is likely to take a long time!
Tap one tile and then another to swap them.

The goal is to reverse the order of the counters so that there are 3 purples, then 3 blues and finally the blank space. Counters can move to an adjacent empty place or hop over one or two other counters to get to it. The resource will only allow correct moves. It can be done in 10 moves. Tapping any counter will move it to the blank space. Tapping reset will set it all back to the beginning. First try to solve it in any number of moves and then try to distill this down into the most efficient process.

Slide the tiles around until they run in alphabetical order from the top left.. Solving it in any number of moves is one challenge but aiming for perfection and completing it in the minimum possible 23 moves should prove even more so.

To solve the puzzle all of the stars must be grouped together and so must the pentagons. The two empty spaces can be left at either end of the row. Each move must be of two shapes together and they cannot be switched in their relative positions. This resource won’t allow any of the puzzle’s rules to be broken but as it is a puzzle that is easy to replicate with counters it is important to be aware of the rules. The top blue button is for moving to select the two shapes you want to move. The bottom blue button will move the two selected shapes. If you attempt a move that is not allowed it will all jump back to the previous position. The puzzle can be solved in just 5 moves. Try to solve it first and then try to pare down the number of moves.

Each line of the star and the enclosing circle need to have the numbers rearranged on them until they add up to 26. The resource will keep track of the addition and show when lines totaling 26 have been created. Note that when these lines illuminate it only shows that they add up to 26 – not that they are in the correct place for the whole of the puzzle.

Simply swap the numbers around until they add up to 14 on each of the big circles. The problem with this as a problem is that with so few numbers and combinations it is quite solvable by trial and error rather than maths but it may be of use for younger children. Either way expect a fairly quick solution.

The challenge is to arrange the numbers 1 to 15 so that each adjacent pair, when added together, result in a square number. This puzzle is particularly nice in that it doesn’t need a high level of maths knowledge to engage with. Simple adding and identifying square numbers is all that is needed. Even this latter requirement is quite easy as there are very few square numbers that these numbers can result in. Despite this ease of engagement it will still provoke in depth thinking. Tapping the circles lets them switch places and their sums are automatically calculated in the squares above them. When a new square number is made a little burst of ticker tape confirms it. 
 When all 14 are correct you’ll know!

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