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# Divergent Thinking Puzzles

### A Touchy Situation

I am indebted to Robert Benjamin, a scientist from the Los Alamos National Laboratory, for A Touchy Situation. Bob first did this activity with his son when his son was in kindergarten. Therefore, he feels that the activity is appropriate for students at all grade levels. He also notes that the activity works best if students use… Continue Reading

### Relative Reckonings

This week’s Puzzle Corner activity comes from the field of recreational mathematics where people do math just for the fun of it. One of the areas of recreational mathematics is logic. Logic puzzles are usually challenging and are normally resistant to quick and easy solutions.The puzzle presented here, Relative Reckonings, is no exception. This puzzle… Continue Reading

### Shrinking Square Challenge

This week’s Puzzle Corner activity is a seemingly simple one that may prove more difficult than one might expect. In it, students place four pennies on the corners of the square pictured. They are then challenged to move only two of the coins to create a new square that is smaller than the original. Most students will need to… Continue Reading

### Puzzling Over Prices

The Puzzle Corner activity this week is a thought puzzle that presents an interesting paradox. Solving it will require some divergent thinking on the part of your students. Puzzles like this one appeal to some people, but frustrate others. It is my hope that when students solve this puzzle, or see how it is solved by others,… Continue Reading

### It’s a Snap!

This week’s Puzzle Corner activity is an adaptation of a classic puzzle from recreational mathematics. It is traditionally posed as a thought problem to be worked out in your head; as such, it is moderately difficult. However, I have found that many elementary school children can solve this puzzle -if they have manipulatives to make it concrete.… Continue Reading

### Locating Legs

This week’s Puzzle Corner activity has a holiday theme. In it, students are presented with a paradoxical scenario and asked to try to make sense of it. In this scenario a child is hiding under a table at her parent’s holiday party. Looking out, she can count 20 legs and thus knows there are 10 adults in… Continue Reading

### Family Ties

This weeks’s Puzzle Corner activity is a collection of three riddles all dealing with the relationships between relatives. The first one is thought to be many hundreds of years old and is one of the best known brainteasers of all time. I have chosen to leave it in its original form, even though the style of English… Continue Reading

### Alternate Arrangements

Six drinking glasses are arranged in a row. The first three are filled with water; the next three are empty. Is it possible to get the full and empty glasses to alternate by moving only one glass? This classic brain teaser has been making the rounds in recreational mathematics circles for years and is the… Continue Reading

### The Relative Riddle

This week’s Puzzle Corner is a classic riddle requiring reasoning to reconcile. (Please forgive the crude alliteration.) While many of you have encountered this riddle before and already know the answer, the riddle probably caused curious consternation (I beg your pardon once more) the first time you saw it. Riddles like the one presented here… Continue Reading

### Alphabetical Puzzlers

This week’s Puzzle Corner is a collection of puzzles dealing with letters of the alphabet. While they are not necessarily mathematical in nature (although one could argue this point), these puzzles have a place in a well-rounded mathematics curriculum. Alphabetical Puzzlers is a collection of four puzzles that use letters of the alphabet in a… Continue Reading