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Building Puzzles - An Open Ended Assignment

Learn more about JeorgeHi! I'm Jeorge, and I'm your coach for using this site in your classroom. This is page four of the instructions for using Tile Puzzler in your classroom. Here we'll talk about Building Puzzles!

Intuitively, you might think that solving Tile Puzzlers has educational and problem solving value (and you'd be right about that!), but it is equally intuitive to think that creating Tile Puzzlers isn't nearly as valuable.

In that assumption, you would be incorrect. It is a different approach to manipulating shapes, but still can be challenging, rewarding, and lots of fun!

In normal mode, players are given a specific shape, and specific tiles with which to fill that shape. In building mode, students get to choose not just the tiles, but the resulting shape. This is a more open ended approach to puzzle solving. Students with a more "creative" approach will enjoy designing a shape, and giving it a name. Knowing that other people from around the world will end up playing their puzzle just adds to the fun. Yes, that's right: puzzles created by your students end up in the "Random" list, so others can play.

In addition, when they are finished creating and naming a puzzle, the site will assign a number to the puzzle. Students can jot down that number, and then give it to a friend ask them to solve their puzzle.

To get started, tell your students to go to the Tile Puzzler home page and click the "bulldozer", which is on the home page. The bulldozer icon is also shown below:

Build align Puzzler

Once students have clicked the bulldozer, they will see a screen that gives them several options for puzzle building. They can choose a puzzle style, or you can tell them which kind of puzzle to build. When they click an option, they will see a screen looks similar to (but not exactly like) the puzzle solving page. From here, they can just hover the mouse over an item for instructions on how to use it.

Teachers should try building a puzzle before asking the class to build; that way you can help them with any questions or problems.

Here are some ideas you might want to consider for you students:

  1. Create a Tetra Puzzler using each of the shapes exactly once.
  2. Create a Pento Puzzler in the shape of a rectangle.
  3. Create a Rickie Puzzler.
  4. Create a puzzle that looks like a car/dog/rocket/etc.
  5. Create a puzzle with exactly 5 tiles. Then ask the person next to you to solve your puzzle, while you solve theirs.
  6. Create a FreeStyle Puzzler in which all the pieces have six squares.
  7. Create an Overlap Puzzler which has just one overlapped square.
  8. Create a Pento Puzzler made up of two Ws, two Us, and two Ts. (Each of the Pento pieces has a letter name; students should be able to figure out which pieces you're talking about!)

Quick Links

Daily Puzzler

Random Puzzler

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Build A Puzzler

Recent Puzzlers

Unsolved Puzzlers

Hardest Puzzlers

Easiest Puzzlers

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