Wednesday, May 30, 2012
I like to have a puzzle table with an ongoing puzzle set up in my room. It's a nice anchor activity for my students when they finish work and it also lets me integrate some team building and cooperation conversations throughout the day. It's also nice to hear the students start to compliment each other when they find pieces and the picture starts to come together.
This particular puzzle was intended to be finished by December. We finished it the first of May! There was a period of time when they students really weren't motivated or interested in going back to it because it was so hard.
I was stuck. Do I take it down and start a new one or push through it?
Luckily, I have the most wonderful paraprofessionals in the world! One day one of them encouraged a student to go over and put one piece in "the hardest puzzle in the world." He did and then was congratulated for helping us with the "hardest puzzle in the world." That threw down the challenge and regained the kids' interest in the puzzle. They started talking about finishing the "hardest puzzle in the world" and actually started to enjoy the challenge of it again. The crazy thing had been up for so long in the classroom all kinds of pieces were now missing (which made it even harder!)
I'm glad we finished it (to the best of our ability with all those missing pieces.) It gave them a sense of accomplishment and pride. They even asked if I would take their picture by "the hardest puzzle in the world." It also gave us some funny conversation and teasing....they asked me to "Please, never buy another puzzle from Goodwill." :-)