One of the greatest challenges I have as a teacher is to get my students to independently try to solve problems. As my students are third graders, my goal at this stage in their lives is to have the make solid attempts – not get the answers right all the time. These problems range from mathematical, analytical, and social issues to complex cognitive skills such as decoding words. The question is: How? How do I get them to attempt to solve problems without giving up after reading the problem? How do I get them to not give up on themselves? How do I get my students to think outside of the box?
I wish there was an easy answer to those question. In fact, there is no one right way to “teach” how to problem solve since each one our students has a uniquely wired brain. However, the KEY to getting students to figure out how to solve problems is the opportunity to practice. Just like sight words, basic math facts, and telephone numbers, opportunities to practice thinking outside of the box can push students to explore new areas of their thinking and force them to look at problems from uniquely different angles.
Enter Daily Brain Busters!
I designed these Powerpoint & PDF files to be used for every day in my classroom . You can use them first thing in the morning during your super busy homeroom period, during your Morning Meeting, or at any other time for that matter. They are easily projected onto Smartboards or can be printed off to be used as posters or in booklets. Each month contains 20 slides of Brain Busters along with their answers. A recording sheet for your students is provided as well if you would like for them to write down their ideas.
Here are some examples of what are included in the files:
Among these brain busters are silly riddles, mathematical puzzles, and word-play items that are perfect for all students – even English Language Learners. Some Brain Busters are obvious, some are more difficult, but all are made to get that “Ohhhh! Now I get it!” response from your students. You might even be surprised at some of the responses your students come up with as they become more and more comfortable with the activities – your students will be thinking of answers that might not be included in the slides but will make perfect sense!
I have created individual Brain Buster files for each month of the year as well as an economical bundle of all 12 months in one file. You can get your own copies for your classroom by clicking on the following pictures:
Make sure to join up for the I Heart Grade 3 Loyalty Club! For every 10 products you buy from the I Heart Grade 3 TpT Store, you receive a $10 TpT gift code to send anywhere on the TpT website. It’s just a little thank you to you for welcoming me into your classroom!
Have a great day!