Sunday, March 4, 2018

Emoji Doku Problem Solving

I love these Emoji Doku logic puzzles by Krazydad.  If you like puzzles you should definitely check out his site.  It's amazing.

Emoji Dokus are a super fun way to practice logical thinking, but they also gave me my own problem solving challenge.  This last fall I was excited to bring them into my Puzzles & Mindbenders class at Village Home, but there was no obvious way to physically fill in the missing emoji icons to complete the puzzles.  I emailed Krazydad with my question, and he also wasn't sure.  He suggested using letters to stand for the different emojis, or drawing them in, for those who are artistically inclined. Even though letters are less fun, and drawings take a long time, the learners in my class liked the puzzles and used both these methods.

If you get stuck on a hard puzzle, sometimes it helps to put it aside and come back to it later.  Sometimes something else you're working on will give you an idea for an approach you hadn't thought of.  One day, sitting in a coffee shop working on lesson planning, it hit me.  Cardstock tiles.  Duh!  It was one of those ideas that seems so obvious in retrospect.  Isn't it funny how that happens sometimes?

Needless to say these puzzles are getting even more love in my classes now.  Big bonus - these puzzles turn out to be great for cooperative puzzle solving.  It is natural for the learners to help each other with the tiles, more so than with pencils or dry erase markers.

As you can imagine, these sets are time-consuming to make.  And even after switching to the heavy cardstock of recycled manila folders, I still wish they were sturdier and easier to work with.  So, Krazydad suggested a KickStarter collaboration!  I want to provide classrooms and families with nice cardboard tiles to go with these delightful little puzzles.  I'll be asking for your help as I get it launched, so stay tuned!  If you might be interested in helping with the Kickstarter or spreading the word, please follow this blog to stay updated, and share this post with your friends and logic-loving communities.