Welcome to the Tuesday Teacher Tips series! Each week we’ll highlight teaching and learning resources, ideas to use in the classroom, as well as things to ponder as you go about your teaching day.
Next week (November 21-27) is National Game and Puzzle Week! I’m excited to break out the jigsaw puzzles in my classroom to celebrate.
Growing up I loved jigsaw puzzles, and I can attribute this lifelong hobby to my grandma. When she babysat us, there were two things for certain that we’d do at her house—eat chicken noodle soup for lunch and work on a puzzle.
As soon as we got to her house, grandma would clear the dining room table while my sister and I ran to pick out a puzzle from her Game & Puzzle Closet (also known as her coat closet). After the pieces were dumped on the table, there was a specific order to how we attacked the puzzle.
First, we’d pull out all of the edge pieces and turned them face up. Middle pieces were pushed to the side. Then the box top was placed strategically for all of us to see and consult as we worked on constructing the border. It was only when the entire border was complete that the middle of the puzzle was worked on.
Grandma never spoke of the great educational benefits of doing puzzles, like working on fine motor, manipulation and coordination skills. Puzzles improve reasoning and deductive thinking. Not to mention, puzzles develop the ability to concentrate. She just said that puzzles were fun. And we agreed!
What was your favorite game or hobby growing up? Who introduced you to it? I’d love to hear from you.
Check out these websites for Game and Puzzle Week:
- The Crayola website has lots of generic game boards, color pages, crafts, and lesson plans to use with your students.
- The American Jigsaw Puzzle Society explains the academic origins of the jigsaw puzzle. Did you know that they were first made as an education tool to teach children geography?