# Sudoku, Origami, 15 Puzzles, Abacuses and Tangrams

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by Nastyoldmrpike, Jul 22, 2012.

1. ### Nastyoldmrpike

Does anybody use these things as extension work for their students? If you do, how many of each do you have? How do you use them?

2. ### PaulDGOccasional commenter

Sudoku isn't "maths" so I don't use it, no.

But I do like KenKens (free pdf worksheets available from http://www.kenken.com/misc/classroom ) and nonograms and block puzzles both available from http://www.puzzle-shikaku.com/.

I use them as starters, time fillers at the end of a lesson (we all make mistakes and sometimes I underestimate what they'll do in a lesson) or for the occasional "last lesson of the week".

3. ### florapost

i use sudoko, origami and tangrams in my thinking skills groups, but not in maths
kakuro has more of a maths claim
15 puzzles?

4. ### tonyhorne

A problem involving numbers that requires logic to arrive at a solution sounds like maths to me
It may not be numeracy but can be of great interest to mathematicians of any age and surely has a use in the training of young minds in matters of mathematics.
Or am I way off?

5. ### PaulDGOccasional commenter

It doesn't involve numbers. Any 9 unique symbols will do.

6. ### AnotherMathsHoD

Neither does Group Theory, but I'd happily argue that is Maths! There is much more to Mathematics then number!

7. ### atics

Sudoku is maths, in my opinion. It requires logic and problem-solving skills, sometimes involves trial and improvement, and fosters the kind of thinking skills, logic and deduction that will allow students to access other areas of maths more successfully.
Wasn't it the subject of a C4 comprehension paper? Or am I just thinking of the latin squares one?

8. ### emilyisobel

Sudoku would fit into discrete maths - developing a foolprrof algorithm for solving them and then making it more streamlined would be good.

10. ### Nastyoldmrpike

There is something called the '17' problem in Sudoku land, there is no combination of starting numbers, less than 17 that produces a unique solution.

11. ### Nastyoldmrpike

15 puzzles are the 15 little blocks in a 4x4 square and one free square. No matter what order you place them in they will either finish up perfect, or the last 3 squares in the order 13-15-14.

12. ### emilyisobel

The 24-game is a good one for filling in extra work as well - it's good for reinforcing order of operations and good use of brackets to write a solution as a single calculation - there are algebra and fractions/ decimals versions which are pretty challenging. In my experience it is something that even the brightest children need practice with.
I kept a lot of puzzles from the Mathagony aunt column in TES from a few years ago and laminated them - I also bring those out for students to have a go at when they zoom ahead of the rest. There tends to be always something that fits a topic.
I use origami a fair bit, but I've found that it is getting harder to get children to follow the instructions and fold carefully now - it's a good way of exploring surds and using pythagoras.
How do you use abacuses? I usually just use them for place value with SEN pupils - I'd be interested in knowing any other uses for them.

13. ### valed

Only by a light year or two .....

14. ### florapost

oh - sliders - 1 to 8 should always 'come right' - 1 to 15 not always, as you say
i have some nice picture ones as well - my escher one is for the valorous only!!! (as with sudoku, these are harder when you don't use numbers, as you have to keep track of the visuals as well as applying the logic)
favorite website http://www.vtaide.com/png/puzzles.htm - fair few of these in the 'more thinking games' section - the other stuff is good too
again, more thinking skills group - though my maths group gets to play with this stuff once every half term as a reward for the extra homework they get
origami (apart from being purely for fun, of course - we have a mum comes in to run a lunchtime club) i'd classify more with fine motor skills
however, we do bring most of this stuff (apart form the origami) into our world maths day puzzle day

15. ### Nastyoldmrpike

If you develop abacus skills you can work out additions as quickly as you are asked them, du to being able to visualise the sum. Just interested in pushing my GnT students and developing ansaz is something that I think might be good.

As for origami, it's the richest new area of mathematics (like crochet) and the kids if they take it on could discover new theorems.

16. ### florapost

we do look at sorobans - there was some discussion about this a year or so ago
do you have a reference/site i could look at for the maths of origami - but i suspect it would be too advanced for primary gat
crochet? interesting, but a skill i have never managed to acquire - do you have references ditto - maybe this could spur me on

17. ### rachel_g41Established commenter

I'm very interested in the origami thing and will do some googling to find out more.
If any of you who use it can explain to me where/when/how you use it, or point me to any particular sites, I'd be extremely grateful.
At present I don't know what maths classes I'm going to have next year but any general info would be most welcome.

18. ### mathswarrior

hi - you might also like to download some of the 'number placement' problems and some of the 'sets and logic' problems from the 'workcards / worksheets' page of the maths warriors website - www.mathswarriors.co.uk - nb it's all free and everything comes complete with answers - hope this is helpful - kk / maths warriors

19. ### florapost

possibly - but if you are going to come on here adverstising your
wares, could you set up a a separate thread and not interrupt