A little bit of logic

At the start of this term I have been working on Logic and Reasoning with my S1 class. The aim is to focus on strategies, thinking, discussion, problem solving and perseverance.

As a class we have looked at two way tables, Venn diagrams and logic problems. But I also wanted to throw in a few strategy games and puzzles.

Firstly, we played the Traffic Light Game, which I wrote about previously. It was so much fun. I still love that it is a game that everyone can play no matter of mathematical ability and can develop strategies to win.

Then we looked at how to solve Futoshiki puzzles. Futoshiki puzzles are from Japan and the name means “inequality”.

futoshikiHow it works:

Complete the grid so that every row and column contains the numbers 1 to 4
The arrows on the grid are inequality symbols – less than and greater than.

Here’s the solution to the above puzzle.futoshiki solThe puzzles go up to size 7 x 7 and have levels easy and hard. I found my puzzles at Brainbashers. The class loved solving them and it allowed for real thinking.

Finally, I returned to an old favourite nrich. This time the game is Gotcha. This is a game for two players. You need 3 counters – 3 the same colour, and a 4 x 4 grid.

The game starts with the counters in the corners.

gotcha start

The player with the green counter moves first. Counters can move one space up, down, left or right.
The aim of the game is for the player with the yellow counters to trap the player with the green by getting on either side of it.

Here are two winning results:

gotcha trap 1                      gotcha trap2

The discussions then begin – what strategy should each player use to ensure victory? Simple but lots of fun.

A twist to this game is to give 2 of each counter, starting in the counters, and play so that both yellow and green can be trapped.

As you can probably tell I love setting my pupils games and puzzles that really get their brains ticking.


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