Using sudoku puzzles in the classroom may seem bizarre, but it shows positive outcomes in students’ learning. These puzzles are a genius way to keep students engaged and inclined towards learning. A well-formed puzzle offers a unique solution, and teachers can use such sudoku puzzles to enhance creativity and problem-solving abilities in students. Before knowing how teachers can use this interesting game in the classroom, read on to know some interesting facts about sudoku.

• Sudoku is not a numerical puzzle; instead, it is a logic-based riddle.
• We can never run out of sudoku as the number of free puzzles is around six sextillions. That means an individual can solve one puzzle every day until the next century.
• This puzzle game is an American invention but derived its name in Japan. The game was invented in 1979 by Howard Garns. However, it got its name in Japan five years after its invention.
• Every year the Sudoku Championship is held in different locations across the world. The champion in this game is Thoman Snyder, who won three championships and solved the most-difficult riddle in 1.23 minutes. The first championship was held in 2016.
• Flight attendants in British Airways cannot play this amazing game during take-off and landing.

How Can Teachers Use Sudoku to Keep Students Interested in Math?

Math is the most feared subject, and a majority of students are disinterested in this subject. They don’t like to solve mathematical problems. However, getting a hold of this subject is crucial for them. Here are a few benefits of using sudoku that help students develop an interest in this subject.

Helps in the development of logic and calculation

Solving logical puzzles helps in the development of analytical thinking. Playing sudoku and solving mathematical equations have a similarity- both run on pure deductions. The solution to a number puzzle depends on the ability to make valid deductive inferences. When solving a complex mathematical problem, students apply deductive reasoning. As both these activities improve reasoning abilities, students are more likely to develop an interest in mathematics.

Helps in improving mental rigor

Solving sudoku helps in developing the mental rigor necessary to solve mathematical equations. Moreover, it also enhances memory and attention in students. It allows students to make inferences from the knowledge and draw conclusions.

Helps understand mathematical problems

When solving a mathematical problem, students need to use analytical thinking. Moreover, they should be attentive. Solving sudoku puzzles enhances both the skills mentioned in the above lines.

To provide the best learning experiences to students, strengthening their foundation in different subjects is crucial. Without getting a clear understanding of concepts, they cannot focus on solving the problems. Therefore, teachers should use different methodologies to provide the best learning experience to their pupils. Using games and puzzles is one of the techniques that can be deployed to make studies fun for the students.

How Can Teachers Use Sudoku Puzzles as a Learning Tool in the Classroom?

The ways of using sudoku puzzles in the classroom are:

Whole-class lessons

Teach students how to play sudoku. Take a lesson on the same and encourage them to learn this game through trial and error. Teachers can draw the puzzles on the board or use pre-cut pieces for this activity.

Math talks

Use the puzzles to start a conversation on math. Teachers can use the board to draw sudoku riddles and ask students to fill in the spaces. Once they have filled in the blank spaces, ask them why they chose the piece they did. Asking these questions will help teachers understand the thinking process of their pupils.

Bulletin board center

Teachers can use the bulletin board to display the puzzles to their students. They can ask students to solve the riddle in their free time. Also, they can make the activity interesting by allocating points to this game.

Independent activity

Teachers can use sudoku as an independent activity. They can provide the answer keys so students can check the correct answers as and when they finish solving the puzzle.

Photocopy as a worksheet

The logical riddles can also be used as a worksheet. Teachers can take photocopies of a riddle and place them on students’ desks. This will keep students engaged during their free time.

Adopting the techniques mentioned above will help teachers include sudoku in the classroom curriculum. This logical riddle will also help students develop their interest in mathematics.

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