Mega Puzzles

I wanted to share with you an activity I heard about at my last PD DAY! I am so happy that a fellow co-worker shared this simple, fun, and engaging activity.  The mega puzzles idea comes from the book, The Nuts & Bolts of Active Learning.  This is very easy to create and costly, so it is a win-win for any teacher. 

This is basically a large graphic organizer that has to be completed like a puzzle using cooperative learning amongst your students.  You can use this idea with almost any subject including phonics, math, reading concepts, and even vocabulary. Here is an example of how we used it this week….

My kids used the puzzles in small group to sort words using phonics.  They had to sort the words for “what’s your name e?” and buddy vowels.  This terminology comes from our Pathways to Reading Program.   The hardest part for my kids was being able to actually put the pieces in the correct spot.  Puzzles require problem solving and are also require high order thinking skills.  This is something my kiddos struggle with greatly this year, so the puzzles help. 

We also used the puzzles as a whole group to review /oi/ and /oy/ sounds in words. All in all I love the conversations I hear my kids having as they are trying to read the words and spot the vowels.  This is really one of the easiest ways to assess my kids whole group.  I actually went to each kid and had them spot the vowel, say the sound, read the word and tell me which puzzle it needed to be in.  

Next week I plan to use this in math for ways to make 10 and even equal equations (one puzzle for true and one for false).  I’m kinda in love with this!  What do you use to get your kids learning and not using a worksheet. SHARE PLEASE!

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