Friday, June 17, 2011

KenKen Puzzles

For our final suggestions of fun resources to consider using while celebrating National Brain Training Week (June 11-17, 2011) we will look at KenKen puzzles. Just as with the magic square and sudoku puzzles discussed earlier this week, KenKen puzzles help children develop problem solving skills and number sense. Puzzles also help develop concentration.

Here are a few good sources of KenKen puzzles:

Will Shortz Presents I Can KenKen! Volume 1: 75 Puzzles for Having Fun with Math is recommended for children ages 9-12. Shortz has also published volumes 2 and 3 for the same age range of children. All of the titles in the series include a "Home and Classroom Guide for Parents and Teachers" written by Marilyn Burns.

KenKen puzzles are also available as a handheld game.

Teaching Tip
The bulletin board idea mentioned in the June 15 posing on Sudoku can be adapted for KenKen puzzles.

As an alternative, instead of incorporating the puzzles we have talked about this week into classroom instruction, consider just having number puzzle books available for children to enjoy in their leisure time. Parents might consider having a few number puzzle books available in the car to occupy children on long trips. Magic Squares, Sudoku and KenKen are a great way for children to enjoy math with out any pressure. Let's always remember to create opportunities for children to enjoy the wonder and beauty of mathematics.

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