Perplexors are word puzzles that require close reading and or math skills plus deductive reasoning to solve the problems.
Introduce Perplexors the first weeks of school next year as group activities, then you can incorporate them into your lesson plans throughout the year any time you need:
Since my last lesson idea post was very standardized EOG prep, I thought this was a good time to mention two math and reading skills resources you can incorporate into class that will help your student not just with standardized testing skills but also with logic and higher order thinking skills that will help them well past the time their standardized test taking days are over.
Ms. Lyttle and Ms. Malone saw Perplexors in use during their PL visit to Park Road Montessori's sixth grade.
Perplexors offer free samples and here is the Link To Purchase if you like the samples. Specific types of perplexors such as Grid perplexors, Venn Diagaram perplexors and more books are available on Amazon and elsewhere.
Perplexor Tutorials are available on Youtube:
Basic level Math Perplexor Sample:
Expert Level Math Perplexor Sample:
Basic level Perplexor sample
Level D Perplexor Sample
Here's an embedded perplexor for you to see:
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Tomorrow begins our end of year testing. Due to outdated competitive attitudes and well-intentioned conscientiousness, many teachers use the last day for last minute-review blast of facts. I used to do that, too, even after I knew it was not proven effective educational practice.
But Ms. Lyttle and Ms McCarthy have what researchers say is a better idea. You can easily adapt their lesson for your own class to help students recognize and combat the stress that has been shown to hamper test performance by shutting down thinking and even restricting blood flow to the brain.
There are plenty of resources online for all age levels that you can cull to share with students: from yoga videos and guided relaxation music to stress-busting suggestions and rate your anxiety quizzes.
Here is a step by step of the Pre-Test Day Stress-busting lesson their students experienced, in photos:
I am Lisa Gurthie the PD facilitator at Piedmont IB Middle School. She specializes in tech and arts integration, interdisciplinary, holistic education, and unschooling school to make it more real and relevant. One day I will modernize my "about" page. Check out the other blogs on this site for Lesson Ideas, Celebration of Good Teaching, and Piedmont PD