Many children and adults are fascinated by the challenge of trying to understand the puzzle writer’s thinking and solving the puzzle in as quick a time as possible. Debbie Leadbetter has taken this one step further and has written a collection of puzzles in French as a fun and engaging way to encourage children to practise reading French. They are designed to consolidate and extend French vocabulary on a variety of topics whilst training the participant’s brain to solve problems.
The puzzles in Les Problèmes Logiques et Latéraux take French cross-curricular! The puzzles are arranged into the main topics that are taught to children aged 11 to 16 to make it easy to find a puzzle which fits a lesson objective. Whether it is finding out which reindeer is pulling which coloured sleigh, which monkey has eaten which fruit, who won the cycle race or completing sudoku games your students will become expert in French problem-solving.
The puzzles have been extensively trialled in the classroom, and we’ve found that they work well when used as starters, in plenaries and as a homework task. Pupils find the puzzles engaging, challenging and most importantly fun, especially when they are set as a class competition.
This book is a not only a useful resource for practitioners of French, but also for cover teachers, because the easy to use answer section gives the teacher immediate access to the answers.
Love puzzles? Love French? This book is also an ideal book of entertainment for puzzle lovers who can read French, whether sat at home, travelling or on holiday. Why not try it this summer on your holidays? To tempt you, a free puzzle from the book can be downloaded by clicking the link below:
“Don’t ask children what they want to be when they grow up but what problems they want to solve. This changes the conversation from who do I want to work for, to what do I need to learn to be able to do that. ” Jaime Casap, Google Global Education Evangelist
Find out what they know before you teach them. This will prevent reteaching what a pupil already knows.
Remove drill from their lives. Bright pupils learn and retain a concept the first time it is presented to them. Allow them to move on to something else while you consolidate concepts with the rest of the class.
Pace instruction at the rate of the learner. Pupils progress at different rates. Allow them to progress at their own rate.
Use discovery learning techniques. Use Inductive Learning strategies to allow pupils to use thinking skills to reach conclusions.
Allow them to arrive at answers in their own way. Bright pupils enjoy devising their own problem-solving techniques.
Allow pupils to form their own cooperative learning groups. Avoid always making the brightest pupil in the group responsible for the whole group’s learning. Allow them to sometimes choose their own groups and work with other bright, motivated pupils.
Design an individual education plan. This will cater to different learning rates.
Teach them the art of argument. Since bright pupils have a tendency to argue anyway, teach them to understand when it is appropriate to argue and also to understand when it is appropriate to argue and also to understand the reaction of others to their argumentativeness.
Allow pupils to observe. Provide pupils with opportunities to observe and don’t demand immediate answers.
Be flexible in designing programmes. Provide your pupils with a variety of programme alternatives, such as independent study, special classes mentoring and enrichment and extension activities.
Thinking Strategies for the Successful Classroom, 9-11 Year Olds
Thinking Strategies for the Successful Classroom, 7-9 Year Olds
Thinking Strategies for the Successful Classroom, 5-7 Year Olds
These ideas have been taken from Thinking Strategies for the Successful Classroom, published by Brilliant Publications. The series includes activities, teaching notes and photocopiable worksheets on a variety of classroom strategies. The activities included are designed to enrich and extend the thinking strategies of the entire class, with in-built opportunities to challenge the skills of the highest achievers.
A study carried out in the United States has shown that already by the age of 6 girls lose faith in their own abilities and see themselves as less talented than boys. The study showed that when children believed that hard work was the key to success both girls and boys were successful.
So what can schools do to encourage girls to believe that they will be successful?
One way is through promoting creative thinking. By asking questions where there are no correct answers and any input is valued, girls’ (and all children’s) confidence and self-esteem will increase.
Brilliant Activities to Stimulate Creative Thinking has over 150 entertaining, open-ended challenges providing mental stimulation. The creative, challenging activities develop mental agility, the ability to ‘think outside the box’ and pupils’ higher level thinking skills.
Sir Michael Wilshaw has said he is “suspicious” of head teachers who say that their ambition is to make children in their schools “happy”. Instead, he argues, the focus should be on making children resiliant.
Sir Michael also says that we should “talk up” the benefits of teaching more.