Friday, December 4, 2015

Got time to do something outside the box? Ted-Ed is the answer!

I have posted about the Einstein problem before, but this time it just got real!
Dan Van der Vieren (Mr. VDV) is the teacher who recently Skyped with my class twice for an hour and a half each time just so we could learn how to solve the Rubik's Cube (by the way, 63% of us in the class can do it without looking at any video or notes--so far!) just created an awesome Ted-Ed video called "Can you solve 'Einstein's Riddle'?"

It is awesome. I have given this problem before, but this was a great little video that was very fun to watch. The characters, script, and editing make it all the more fun. I played it this morning for my students and paused at the exact moment so they could begin working. This is NOT a puzzle for the meek...but it certainly is a fun one. I don't know if it's true, but the internet boasts that only 2% of people can get the answer to this riddle.

Here's the version I have given:
But Dan's twist is that the fish is stolen...who took it?

Here's some of my students' work:

There's more, but I don't want to show you the answer. It will be fully explained, after the pause when students do work on the problem. It's a great activity, but I do recommend a full class period. If a student wants to give up, do it with them on the board...very fun!!

Great job, Dan!

I blogged about the bridge riddle here--we love Alex Gendler and the narrator! It's another great problem.

And my students enjoyed this variation on the Prisoners Hat Problem.
I hope these keep coming. They are fun and counterintuitive in many cases. They open my students' eyes to problems that I was exposed to at some point, but that they have never seen. I know your students will love them as much as mine did.

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