1) Write down a 3 digit number
(it cannot include a zero and the 1st and last digit cannot be the same)
2) Reverse the digits
3) Subtract the smaller 3 digit number from the larger 3 digit number
4) Reverse the digits of the answer from #3
5) Add the 3 digit numbers from #3 and #4
Is your answer 1089????
Puzzles and brainteasers are not only fun, challenging games but they
can also be useful counseling tools. Therapist B. Gilroy used
brainteasers and magic to interact with125 eigth graders during an
class trip. These less threatening activities allowed the therapist to enter into the adolescents' world
without threatening their independence or forcing them to reveal more than they wanted to about
themselves (Gilroy, 2001.)
Puzzles and brainteasers provide interesting
and adaptable techniques to use when counseling children and adolescents.
They can be utilized as an individualized game in which the student is in
competition with him or her self, trying to figure out the "trick" or work
on that last clue. Puzzles can also bring people together. They can also be
used as group activites, with either students competing with one another or
working together to figure out the solution. We can talk while we work on a
puzzle and sometimes the lack of eye contact yet physical closeness can
encourage honest communication (Schultz, 2002.) In any of these
possibilities, puzzles and brainteasers can be used to enhance the
counseling process. These techniques can introduce a guidance topic by
motivating the students to become involved in the activity. Short puzzles
or brainteasers can also add relief and humor to tense moments or possibly
can raise students' alertness and critical thinking skills.
Jane Gebers (1985), a resource specialist teacher, argues that all of us, especially students, need to give our left side of the brain a rest every now and then. Puzzles provide a wonderful outlet. The left side of the brain focusing on listening, talking, reading, wiriting, arithmetic, and logical reasoning, all of the activities that students participate in most of their school day. The right side of the brain deals with color and spatial concepts, perfect for working on large, bright jigsaw puzzles. The right side of the brain needs eexercise also, and by allowing students to work on puzzles they re-energize, cooperate, and explore through discovery learning. Another benefit is that students usually gain a strong sense of completion and achievement when they finish a puzzle.
| Gebers (1985) recommends that
the students work on writing or creating stories to accompany puzzles
they may be working on in class. This acitivity could easily be adapted
for school counselors. For instance, enlarge and laminate a picture of
a student bullying another student. Cut the picture into jigsaw pieces
and now you have an activity for students to work (hands-on) with when
your small group discusses and processes various aspects of 'bullying'.
As counselors, we can use various resources for
finding different, appropriate puzzles and brainteasers to use with
Websites, such as Recreationtherapy.com offer numerous, free ideas for puzzles and games to use with students. Jigzone.com also provides free online jigsaw puzzles but this site is most beneficial because it allows users to make their own photots into jigsaw puzzles! "Wordles" are also interesting and unique word puzzles that can be used in guidance activities to address pertinent issues such as comunication skills or team work. Kids love learning the tricks to these teasers so I recommend using these techniques to build group rapport or working to get students comfortable with one another. Of course, as with all counseling techniques and activities, it is not necesarily the technique itself, but rather the process and discussion. It is vital to used the facilitative and problem solving models throughout the counseling time to better ensure successful outsomes.
| Jigsaw puzzles have become
quite a popular mutlicultural pasttime. In French, Jigsaw Puzzles are
called "Casse-tetes". When roughly translated this means "head-breaker"
(Shultz,2002). I find puzzles and brainteasers to be an amuzing
anomolie. As human beings, we seem to slighty enjoy torturing
ourselves, mentally, into order to figure out the solution. We may just
ravish in the extra mental exercise, or competition. No matter what the
reasoning behind our desire to challenge oursleves, puzzles and
brainteasers still appeal to a wide variety of individuals and when used
appropriately, they can enhance the counseling and educational process.
* Counselors!! Still want more
brainteasers and puzzles?
Click here to test out your therapy knowledge.
Gebers, J. (1985). Jigsaw puzzles: rest for the left side of the brain. Academic Therapy, 20, 5, p. 548-549.
Gilroy, B. D. (2001). Using magic therapeutically with children. Kadison, H. G. & Schaefer, C. E. (Eds.) 101 more
favorite play therapy techniques. Jason Aronson Inc., Northvale, N. J., p. 429-438.
Schultz, V. (2002). Jigsaw therapy. America, 186, 13, p. 6-7.
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