Students in Lower Elementary almost always have a jigsaw puzzle available to be worked on in the “quiet zone” of their classroom. A time-timer on the table helps them ensure that they don’t spend more than 10 minutes working on the puzzle at a time, and also helps ensure that many students get a chance to participate.
Most recently, our students completed a 3D puzzle of multicolored clownfish. Numbers and arrows printed on the bottom of the curved pieces helped to direct students on how they all connected to form the sphere of the finished puzzle. This was the first non-flat puzzle that our students have tackled, and although it took nearly a month from start to finish, it was greatly admired by all for several days before being taken apart and put away.
Puzzles help our students build logic and reasoning skills, as well as improving their ability to work collaboratively, especially when the work takes place in the “quiet zone” and students must collaborate and work together without talking.