Superb maths challenges from The 7 Puzzle Company
Paul Godding is a board game and puzzle inventor. He got in touch via Twitter and kindly sent me two samples of his creations. Paul designs educational puzzles that allow pupils to practice key maths ideas and concepts whilst also being engaged and logically challenged. There is a large selection of Paul’s puzzles on his website www.paulgodding.com that I would encourage you to visit. In addition to board based games and puzzles he is also now developing smartphone apps in the same vain.
The first sample Paul sent me was of a product called Fractiles. This is a magnetic tiling toy that contains 96 magnetic tiles that can be placed on the accompanying 8″ by 8″ magnetic board. There are 3 different shaped and coloured tiles. The packaging comes with numerous ideas of designs you can make using the tiles and also some examples of how you could use Fractiles to teach translational, reflective and rotational symmetry and tessellation. Here are some pictures that my four year old daughter produced.
My daughter really enjoyed the creative nature of Fractiles and I could see a lot of mathematics going on. The packaging even includes an explanation of why the shapes tessellate; with the interior angles of the tiles being multiples of 1/14ths of 360 degrees. A great resource.
Secondly, Paul sent me a sample copy of The 7 Puzzle. This consists of a mouse mat with a 7 by 7 grid where each cell contains a shape and number. Accompanying this are 14 leather shapes that you place on the grid to cover up certain cells. If you place all of these on the grid with no overlaps there are 7 cells left showing. The idea is the 7 remaining cells must contain a certain type of number, colour or shape, depending on what is required for the challenge. There are 40 challenges that include number, colour and shape criteria such as even numbers, multiples of 5, heptagons, factors of 48, prime numbers, red etc…
Both Fractiles and The 7 Puzzle would make great resources in the maths classroom and I’d personally thoroughly recommend them. If you are interested in these resources and other offerings from Paul Godding be sure to check out his website: www.paulgodding.com. You can also follow Paul on Twitter @7puzzle.