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New Interactive Gridlocks Puzzles!

The latest additions to our online interactive Gridlocks puzzles have gone live! We’ve added five more puzzles to the 11-14 set (acids and alkalis, pollutants in the air, tests for gases, rock types and apparatus diagrams) and another puzzle to the 14-16 selection (units of volume).

Gridlocks are based on the ideas behind sudoku and are suitable for an episode in a lesson or homework. They are designed as follow up activities rather than an introduction to a topic; the students should have met at least some of the data the gridlocks are based on.

There is a video walkthrough for teachers and/or students to have a step-by-step guide on how to solve Gridlocks puzzles.

There are also more than 30 other interactive puzzles, as well as another 65 that can be printed off (from Learn Chemistry) and given to a class.

Why Gridlocks?
The gridlocks puzzles give students a problem solving context for learning a subject. There can be an aspect of competition as well: who solved the most, who was quickest or who made the least mistakes.

The students need to engage with the factual information the gridlock is based on. In order to solve the puzzle they need to recall the relationships between the data established in the first part of the activity. Whilst they are solving the gridlocks they should find themselves referring to the initial data repeatedly so much so that they recall a fair bit of it by the end.

It develops some important thinking skills. The students have to survey the data given in the gridlock to find which squares can initially be filled in. They cannot simply choose a square at random and fill it in because there may not be enough information yet in the grid to narrow down the options to one possible answer. This thinking skill is sadly missing in the students who, given a titration calculation want to straight multiply a concentration by a volume to give the moles of the reactant asks for despite not having all the relevant information yet. They also allow them to develop logical reasoning e.g. 'it has to be x because it can't be w, y or z'.
Posted by Alexandra Kersting on Dec 11, 2012 2:22 PM Europe/London

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