Session 1 - Section Beta


Se tgsk oy ynxkegy gtj ck'rr hk yurbotm yusk kdiozotm vaffrky ubkx znoy iuaxyk zu cuxq ut jkbkruvotm uax rumoigr znotqotm yqorry. O nuvk zngz ck ngbk g mxkgz zosk jaxotm znk tkdz lkc ckkqy! :-)

Tuc, znotq... cne joj O inuuyk znoy gy znk loxyz gizoboze ul znoy iuaxyk?

= = =

A sheet with this message was what greeted my 17 bright students at the start of the course. Can you decipher this using logic? 😊

The rationale for introducing the course in this manner was twofold - first, it employed logical reasoning which is the core element of the course while setting an environment that was stimulating for the children from the get-go; second, it was an unconventional introduction sure to pique their interest.

My students were drawn into the code far more than I expected so we spent some time discussing their initial thoughts on seeing the message, the strategies and approaches that they tried to decode the message and the final question at the end of the message (you still didn't try to decode the message, did you? 😛).

By pushing them to think about their thinking and approach to the problem, I was building the course on the guiding principle outlined in the first post. I also gave each child a "Thought Book" that they would be using for each new puzzle going forward. A sample page is shown below.

To wind up the session, I circulated a sheet of paper that asked students to share what their expectations of the course were. While I would be unlikely to drastically alter the structure of the course, there is value in understanding what notions they are bringing about the course so that I can tailor my pedagogy, language and instruction accordingly. Some insightful samples are shown below.

By reading my students' answers to these questions, it told me what they were looking to take away from my course and whether they liked working alone or in groups. This would help me in planning for individual, paired and group work for the remaining sessions.

In the writing of one of my students, here is the answer to the code... do you see the logic? 😊

In the next post (linked below as an addendum), I'll write about our second session where we explored a puzzle called Slitherlink.

Session 2 - Section Beta