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use of brain puzzles expands thinking

Using mensa puzzles at the beginning of class expands thought processes in our work in forensics

Critical thinking skills are important for learning new content in any field. Doing activities that develop those thinking "outside the box" techniques will help set the stage for curious exploration of the content being delivered.

Good idea. And puzzles usually help them get into the class as well!

Indeed: lateral thinking exercises presented early in the course can prime the pump, so to speak; once students see that unconventional solutions exist for even the most seemingly mundane problems, they may (hopefully) begin to apply that kind of thinking to their coursework. The results can be spectacular.

A great source for learning more about lateral thinking: Edward de Bono's "Lateral Thinking: Creativity Step by Step."

Hi Scott,
Good point about the need for students to develop skill at coming up with alternative solutions. Being good at problem solving is a critical part of career success.
Thank you for the source you mentioned. I look forward to reading it and expanding my knowledge in this area.

Yes, it's a good reference Scott.

This sounds like a great idea. Warm up exercises are always great to get students in "class mode," and it's a good idea to try to stretch their thinking a little.


I agree with your thoughts about brain puzzles. I teach culinary arts and I stress the importance of building fundamentals and building on them. I often quiz and creat brain puzzles for my students to criticly think and creat new menu ideas and flavor combinations. Rob

I also use mensa puzzles. They really get the students thinking outside the box. It also helps get them "in the mood" so real learning can take place.

Good idea. These types of mental challenges set the stage for learning just as you mention, plus I am sure they are fun for the students to do.

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