Puzzles in primary grades

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by snickydog, Aug 20, 2007.

  1. snickydog

    snickydog Groupie

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2006
    Messages:
    1,481
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 20, 2007

    I am looking to gather some puzzles to use at centers in my first grade classroom. Does anyone have some good sources for inexpensive puzzles, especially ones that are more thematic (community helpers, etc) rather than with movie characters (like Cars or Shrek)? I checked Target and only found one (for $2.99... sweet!)... sigh!

    Also, I would like the children to be able to complete the puzzle in about 10 minutes - about how many pieces would be appropriate?

    :thanks: :haha:
     
  2.  
  3. mrsmuggins

    mrsmuggins Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 20, 2007

    I found some at our Dollar Store that I am planning to use in 2nd grade. I go to lots of rummage sales to find puzzles, games, books, etc. Another idea is to send home a note to parents asking them to donate any old puzzles to the classroom. I have also asked kids to bring them in to "share" and we keep it at a center for a while, and it goes back home when we are finished with us.

    As for the time limit, you probably would need one that is about 100 pieces. You could also put a puzzle with more pieces and let it be an ongoing project for students.

    Hope this helps!

    P.S. Have you checked eBay?
     
  4. sciencegirl

    sciencegirl Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    Messages:
    79
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 20, 2007

    I think 100 pieces is probably way too many for 1st graders to do in 10 minutes. I used to use 100-piece puzzles in 5th grade at the end of the year doing fun contests, and working in teams it took them 20ish minutes...

    One word on management of puzzles that I learned while student teaching. It takes a lot of time up front, but it's SO WORTH IT:
    Use permanent marker to number the puzzle on the box, for example, "#1". Then take all the pieces from that box, turn them over, and use a Sharpie to write the number 1 on the back of each piece. Do the same for each new puzzle, changing the number. That way, when kids have several puzzles out on rainy days, etc, you won't go bonkers figuring out which pieces go where. And when you find that lone puzzle piece in the corner, you can flip it over, see the number and return it to its home. :) It makes for a longer live for the complete puzzle!
     
  5. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2006
    Messages:
    4,858
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 20, 2007

    TJ Maxx often has big floor puzzles on sale for $5.00 - they are the same ones Lakeshore sells for $10.00. If they work together the kids should be able to complete it in the time you are looking at.

    Wal-Mart sells packs of board puzzles pretty cheaply too - I think last time I got 4 puzzles for $4.00. They don't hold up as long though.
     
  6. snickydog

    snickydog Groupie

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2006
    Messages:
    1,481
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 21, 2007

    I did a little more shopping and found some at Toys R Us for $4 each... They were based on books (yay!) so they should be familiar illustrations, but the puzzles were only 24 pieces each. Does that sound like they'd be put together a little too quickly? I am frustrated... Everything there was either 24 (which seemed like too few pieces for 1st graders) or 100+ (as my husband and I found out, it took the two of us 20 minutes or so to do one!).
     
  7. LAH2

    LAH2 Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 21, 2007

    If you get a 100 piece puzzle you could make it an ongoing project. When my second graders put together puzzles of this size usually one group works on it and gets it started, and then the next day another group works on it and adds a little more, etc. The students really like the fact that they all have an opportunity to work together to put the puzzle together.
     
  8. Pattie

    Pattie Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Messages:
    240
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 22, 2007

    Snickydog I LOVE my puzzle center and I always look for the 48 piece FLOOR puzzles. The Melissa and Doug ones are good because they have cool themes. I have about 7 of them and then some wooden puzzles in a rack (about 7 of those). Kids work cooperatively to put them together and they take about 10 minutes, no more, maybe less depending. It is the most popular center and I think it is good brainwork for 1st grade or 2nd. I have made a rule in the past that only 2 kids can go to puzzles at a time and I think that works well, 3 kids tend to argue with each other. good luck!
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Backroads,
  2. TheMathLemur
Total: 140 (members: 2, guests: 124, robots: 14)
test