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Free Grit & Growth Mindset Challenge: The Nitty Gritty Bewilderer

If you’ve been following me, you know how much I love these Grit and Growth Mindset Challenges. You also know how extremely important and valuable I see them in the classroom. So much so, that I recommend completing one activity a week with your class throughout the entire school year. Instead of just talking about and explaining what Grit and Growth Mindset are, students also need controlled opportunities to experience and practice it.

***This product line has been updated, many of the challenges now have a digital counterpart and work perfectly as a Google Slide assignment! See product descriptions for more information. 

 

As educators, we need to facilitate failure in the classroom long-term. We need to help students identify their learning blocks, and their natural reactions in order to better overcome them. These types of tools will carry them throughout their lives.

I created the Nitty Gritty Challenges as a fun and effective way to do this in the classroom.

 

I wanted to include a fun and FREE  Sample of one of the challenges to give you a taste as to how important and effective these challenges can be. However, remember that the reflection page used at the end of each challenge is only included in the paid Nitty Gritty Versions. 

I refer to this challenge as the Nitty Gritty Bewilderer, or the Grit Challenge #7.  This is such a fun activity based around the idea of Magic Squares. These incredible math puzzles have been around for thousands of years. In fact, Chinese legend tells of a turtle that had a 4×4 magic square on its back. A magic square is basically a puzzle made of the same number of rows and columns. The numbers that make up the rows and columns will add up to the same sum, or a related sum.

I love history and the fact that these puzzles were enjoyed by Benjamin Franklin is really fun. I’ve made sure to include a puzzle based on his findings and work with creating one of these magical squares. Be prepared to have your mind completely blown. His work is fascinating. Benjamin Franklin worked on an 8×8 and 16×16 square throughout his life. In the 16×16 square, magic with numbers truly happens. Franklin was even quoted saying that his square, “is the most magically magical of any magic square ever made by any magician.” 

I highly encourage you to purchase the book “Ben Franklin and the Magic Squares,” to accompany this challenge. You and your students will enjoy the historical context associated with the activity. The book is well done and gives a brief history and glimpse into the brain of one of our Founding Fathers. The best part, you can snag it for around 5$. Click here to purchase.

Watch the video for a brief preview, can’t wait to hear what you think!

****This product line has since been updated and now includes DIGITAL Versions of many of the Challenges! The video above will only preview the older only printable version. Each Challenge now includes the updates!

 In order to access this FREE download, you must be logged in. Not a member? Not a problem! Sign-up is FAST, FREE and Easy-Peasy Lemon Squeezy! Click here to become a member!

Keep Reading for Access to Download!

If you love this activity and you’re on board with facilitating failure throughout the school year, make sure to check out these activities! Remember the reflection sheets are included with the paid challenges.

 

If you are looking to get the most bang for your buck, make sure to check out the Bundle that includes all of the paid products at a discount!

 

Don’t forget to check out these freebies exclusive to On Lemon Lane Members! Not a member? Sign up is free and easy, peasy, lemon squeezy! Click here to become a member. 

Learn the Nitty Gritty about these Best-Selling Grit & Growth Mindset Challenges:

If you plan to use these challenges throughout the school year, purchasing the bundle is your best choice and gives you the best value. This product includes access to over 60 pages and 35  DIGITAL and Printable Activities. You can also purchase the challenges individually, see descriptions for more information.

Click Here to Purchase the BUNDLE

 

The Nitty Gritty

1. The Nitty Gritty Triangle Challenge: (Digital & Printable)

Click Here to Purchase The Nitty Gritty Triangle Activity 1:

Students will complete the Magic Math Triangle, where all digits along the perimeter of the triangle must add up to the given magic sum. There are two triangles with 4 possible magic sums totaling 8 activities! There is a signature section where you can require the student to get a signature from you, a classmate, or their own before moving on. ANSWER KEY is included! Take each challenge a step further and see if the students can find multiple solutions per magic number Triangle. Great for critical and higher-level thinking. This activity requires a minimum of 20 minutes per triangle. By no means will a student finish all 4 triangle challenges, unless you stretch the challenges out.

2. The Nitty Gritty Tangle Challenge: (Printable)

Click Here to Purchase The Nitty Gritty Tangle Activity 2

The Nitty Gritty Tangle is a great way to challenge younger students or start off on a lighter note. Don’t be fooled. These mazes are not for the faint of heart. There are a total of 7 mazes that are scaffolded to build confidence, while still facilitating a challenge.

3. The Nitty Gritty Puzzler Challenge: (Digital & Printable)

Click Here to Purchase The Nitty Gritty Puzzler Activity 3

The Puzzler, is named appropriately. This challenge includes 4 different puzzles and trust me, your students will struggle to complete them. Remember these activities are intended to cause frustration, disappointment, in order to better explain Grit and Growth Mindset. These puzzles are fun and will cause excitement and strain as students work to solve them. Two of the puzzles allow students to actually cut out the pieces to be manipulated. Great for that kinesthetic experience! Another however strictly requires only mental computation, this component truly causes a strain.

4. The Nitty Gritty Confuzzler Challenge: (Digital & Printable)

The Nitty Gritty Confuzzler Activity 4

The Confuzzler is SO fun and SO hard. I guarantee failure on this one. The best part is the answers are right in front of you and they become SO obvious once you finally know it! The Confuzzler includes 4 different types of word puzzles made up of: Rebuses, (Rebus), anagrams, pangrams, brainteasers, matchstick, logic puzzles and more! Give these time to marinate. The worst thing you can do is give the answers too quickly. In fact, you could try your hand at these along with the students!

5. The Nitty Gritty Scribbler Challenge: (Printable )

One of these activities will work as a digital product, however, it works best as a printable 😀

The Nitty Gritty Scribbler Activity 5

The Nitty Gritty Scribbler includes over 28 pages such as:

  • Tricky Triple Diamond Sketch Puzzle
  • Impossible Envelope Brain Teaser Sketch Puzzle
  • Scattered Grid Puzzle Page
  • Distorted Grid Drawing Pages
  • Symmetry Drawing Pages
  • Grid Method Drawing Pages
  • Extreme Dot to Dot
  • Grit Detailed Coloring Pages
  • Growth Mindset Coloring Pages
  • + MORE

The Following activities are Free Activities or include a Free Sample

These are available to members of On Lemon Lane! In order to access any of the Free Downloads, you will need to be logged into your account. 

Not a member? Not a problem, sign-up is FAST, FREE, and Easy-Peasy, Lemon-Squeezy! Click here to become a member!

Already a member? Click Here to Sign-In

6. The Nitty Gritty Thingamajig Challenge: FREE To Members of On Lemon Lane

The Nitty Gritty Thingamajig is a fun bunch of challenges with a more kinesthetic vibe! From folding origami to solving the Impossible Paper Trick! I’ve also included links to videos of my other favorite paper puzzles and tricks that all require a few supplies to complete, all of which can be found around the classroom! As an added bonus, the Nitty Gritty Thingamajig also includes intricate coloring pages that you or your students can edit the Growth Mindset Quote the print and color!

ALL OF THIS is available FREE to you!

In order to access these FREE challenges of the Free Downloads, you will need to be logged into your account. 

Not a member? Not a problem, sign-up is FAST, FREE, and Easy-Peasy, Lemon-Squeezy! Click here to become a member!

Already a member? Click Here to Sign-In

Click Here to Download The Nitty Gritty Thingamagig Challenge

 

7. The Nitty Gritty Bewilderer Activity 7: FREE SAMPLE available To Members of On Lemon Lane (Digital & Printable)

Ancient Chinese Legend tells of a turtle with a curious pattern found on his shell. It wasn’t until someone looked closer that they realized the pattern was in fact a magic square! A magic square is filled with consecutive numbers in a way that the sum of each row, column, and diagonal all add up to the same number. Founding Father, Benjamin Franklin without the help of a calculator, even created a 16 x 16 magic square over 200 years ago! He is quoted saying, “[it] is the most magically magical of any magic square ever made by any magician.” The Nitty Gritty Bewilderer allows students to dive deep into these magical shapes all while practicing Grit and developing a Growth Mindset! This Activity includes both DIGITAL and Printable activities! 

Click Here to Purchase the Full Version of the Nitty Gritty Bewilderer 

As discussed previously, I’ve created a free sample of this challenge for you and your class! The Free Sample is made up of two challenges based on the 3 x 3 Magic Square. This puzzle can be assigned as either a digital or printable! Click on the link below to check out the FREE Sample of the Nitty Gritty Bewilderer Challenge #7

Click Here to Have this FREEBIE sent straight to your inbox!

8. The Big Scribb Whole-Class Collaboration Challenge: (Printable)

Essentially this project is a mural that is created in pieces by students in your class. Students have no idea what the end result or picture will be and instead are asked to focus on their small tile and to recreate the image assigned to them with as much accuracy as they can.

I’ve included two options for the mural. Based on which tile you have students recreate their assigned design will result in either a 3 x 3 ft mural, or a 5 x 5ft mural! One of the wonderful details about this project is that up to 64 students can be involved in this project. You are also able to easily differentiate with the tiles because the designs on the tile vary from all levels of difficulty.

Click Here to Learn More about the Big Scribb Activity

Click Here to Download the Big Scribb Activity

 

PHEW.

As far as I’m concerned there’s no better place to foster failure than in the classroom, with a teacher like you as their guide through the depths of the learning pit. Skills like these will carry students through more than just academics.

Be on the lookout for my Grit & Growth Mindset Bulletin Board Kit ***COMING SOON!

Can’t wait to hear what you think! Better yet, what did your students think? Comment below, or let’s connect on Instagram or Facebook! Share pictures pretty please!

Make sure to share the love and pin one of the images to your Pinterest board!

If you do any of these activities PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE take pictures and tag me! Post to the Facebook group, or tag @teachingonlemonlane on Instagram! Don’t forget to pin these images to your Pinterest. This is a SMALL and SIMPLE way to support the efforts of Teaching on Lemon Lane!

To stay up-to-date on new blog posts, freebies, exclusive promo codes, and sales… Join the Teaching on Lemon Lane Community! Pick any or all of the following to stay in the loop of all things Teaching on Lemon Lane. 

If you enjoyed this PLEASE SHARE! Sharing on Pinterest, Facebook, or tagging on Instagram is a simple, yet wonderful way to support the efforts of Teaching on Lemon Lane!

PSA:
April Fools’ Day is TOMORROW
I know many of you are coming off Spring Break, to lighten the load and add a little laughter to the classroom I quickly put together a fun and FREE activity/ joke to play on your class 💛 This impossible word search is in disguise as a #nationalpoetrymonth activity. Students will try and find words like stanza, verse, and rhyme... but won’t come up with a dime! 😉 They may however come up with words like tomfoolery, bogus, shenanigan, joke, buffoonery...etc 😂😂😂 Hope you and your class enjoy it, and this brightens your day! Tag me if you decide to use it, tags completely make my day! Comment below and I’ll DM you the link💛
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Are you using my FREE Pi Day Activity like• @sunnyinclass

This fun FREEBIE works with ANY circular treat and is such a fun activity for students to explore and calculate Pi on Pi Day!

Comment below if you want me to DM you the opt in link 💛
Thank so much for the tag @sunnyinclass 💛 I can’t wait to hear what your 5th graders think! #l

#piday #pidayactivities #pidayatschool #pidayintheclassroom #mathteacher #math #mathactivities #mathactivity #mathactivitiesforkids #5thgrademath #5thgrade #5thgradecollaborate #ediblemath #edibleactivities #foodintheclassroom #havefunteaching #havefunlearning
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Guys.... I’m not usually one to toot my own horn.... but 🎺 🎺. You HAVE to try this in your classroom. I racked my brain to come up with a pie recipe that didn’t require melting butter, a hand mixer, oven, or mess, that still incorporated math and fun. When plastic bags came to mind I couldn’t find anything that supported the idea of whipped cream in a bag but, in theory it should work.... IT. DOES. Every “piece” of that pie #punintended is made in a ziplock bag with ingredients that simply require measuring. Best part, it’s delicious. This is SURE to be a favorite and memorable activity with your class! 💛 be sure to tag me, I can’t wait to hear all about it!.

Link can be found in my story, or comment below for the link! Link includes the email opt-in for my March Freebie Bundle, that includes TWO no-prep Pi Day activities.
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Comment below if you plan to try this activity with your class tomorrow or comment if you’d like me to DM you the link to the Pi Day FREEBIE opt in 👊
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When an idea for an activity turns out EVEN better than you imagined?!
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Add a little spice to your Stuck in a Snow Glove activity! Your Upper-Grade students will LOVE this activity!
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If you already own this product head to your TPT account and re-download to access ALL the updates I made to this pretty little thing. Just when I thought I couldn’t love this one any more…
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❄️In short it’s MAGICAL❄️
Head to my story or link in bio for more info…
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How many days do you have left until winter break? Comment ⬇️
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I love the idea that the best way we can remember September 11 and #neverforget is to remember the love, and unity that was felt September 12th, and to strive to live that way each day.
On September 12th we were one nation under God.
Indivisible.
Seeking justice for all.
Love this beautiful depiction by @paigepayne_creations see her thoughts on September 12th below.
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“ And on September 12th, we all came together. We were one. My family was living in Scotland when 9/11 happened. It was everywhere, all over the news. In school the day after, we had a long moment of silence in remembrance of those who were lost. We continued to have an annual moment of silence every year after that. It was incredible that even thousands and thousands of miles apart, we were mourning with those that mourned. We were one. At that time, we all displayed what we are capable of. Even in the face of incomprehensible tragedy, humans are capable of immense love. Capable of setting aside differences and coming together as one. As we remember and pay tribute to the thousands of lives the were lost that day, let us also strive to be more like how we were on September 12, 2001. Full of love, understanding, and compassion for each other. “

This painting is inspired by a beautiful photo taken by @masseya ❤️

#911 #911memorial #9eleven #911remembrance #thetwintowers #neverforget #neverforgotten #unity #love
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💡🚨PSA:🚨💡
ATTENTION ALL TEACHER FRIENDS
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Tag your #teachertribe and every #firstyearteacher below for this important reminder:
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As you set up your classroom for the new school year, and start divvying out materials… Do no forget to set aside 2-4 new student kits.
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Just like @adifferentiatedclass (shown in picture) I made sets using Gallon ziplocks.
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If you are in a developing community with new housing I recommend a minimum of 4 bags 🙀
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What to include:
🍋Name-tag/Desk-plate
🍋If you adhere the plates to the desk, have a segment of what you use in the pack.
🍋Welcome Treat (same one you’ve given to each student at the open house/back to school...etc.
🍋Whatever else you’ve set aside for students that begin on the first day of school.
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📣📣📣There will likely come a day when without warning you will be notified you have a new student, and the student will start THAT DAY. Save yourself and your poor new student the stress of frantically trying to get everything set up, by preparing NOW.
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Veteran teachers what else do you include in your new student kits?? Share in the comments below⬇️⬇️⬇️
📸: @adifferentiatedclass
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How satisfying/ beautiful 😻 is this #classroomorganization tip by @the_organized_classroom
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Use paint swatches as a visual to help students sort supplies! Keep this is mind as you set up your classroom for the school year!
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HELP ME BRAINSTORM:
What’s a brilliant #teacherhack you’ve tried or seen done with paint swatches??? Comment below 👇
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I’ll leave mine in the comments!
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Guys… I had a baby 🥰 Almost 10 months ago 😳 I STRUGGLE to consistently show up on this platform, but know how happy I am that you are here!
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There are a lot of new faces around here so I thought we should take the time to get to know each other!
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PLEASE comment below with what we have in common, or something we will never see eye to eye with 😜
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A few things to know about me😬
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🍋 My name is Tara, I’m the creator behind @teachingonlemonlane
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🍋 Lemon was my maiden name and my love for all things lemon runs deep.
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🍋 I’m a fresh lemonade connoisseur, and will not touch store bought/ from the tap.
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🍋 My patronus is a wolf 🐺 #potterhead
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🍋 A piece of my heart will always be in #5thgrade and New Orleans
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🍋 I’m a novice flower gardener and LOVE to experiment with different blooms.
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🍋 Ben and I will celebrate our 10 year this year and have 3 kiddos under 5 💀
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🍋 Go Red Sox ⚾️
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🍋#bucketlist item: New Zealand, Hobbiton, ride the #nevisswing 😳
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🍋 Teaching item(s) I can’t live without…Binder clips😎 You should see what I can #macgyver with a couple clips… also, flair pens. #cliché 🤓
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YOUR TURN: Tell me something about you in the comments!
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To my dear teacher friends still in school, I've got a FREE Father’s Day project I think you will love! Those of you are home with kiddos of your own, consider this fun activity for your Father’s Day Celebration! This is a great #endofyearproject that doubles as a #fathersdaygift 💛🍋💛
This product is available in both a printable and digital version that’s completely editable through Google. If you have a student or child interested in Digital Design, this is a fun way to introduce and experiment with different design tools. Because there are so many different types of situations and circumstances when it comes to a father the words father or dad are never actually used. Which makes this the perfect card to give to any figure that has taken on that important role. Whomever that is, they should be celebrated!
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Need #bulletinboardideas for March.... I’ve got you👊 like almost all of my Bulletin Board Kits, they center around student work and are made up of EASY TO CUT, Editable 🙊, ready to print and assemble slides!
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Make sure to check out the Lucky Because Bulletin Board BUNDLE get ALL this for only $3.99☘️☘️☘️☘️ The Clover craft is the PERFECT craft for tomorrow!
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If you’ve followed me for long you know I love all things March and Irish ☘️ it’s in my blood 🙃
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My love of March shows in my resources, of all the months to have the most projects... March (of all the months???) is at the top of the list!
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I just added this CELTIC KNOT inspired Lucky Clover Craft and it turned out so fun! Use either the DIGITAL version and insert pictures into the leaves that represent why you’re lucky, or pick from one of the 18 different top layer options to create a beautiful clover like the one shown above! If you do go this route make sure to check out the EDITABLE bulletin board kit to really put these beauties on display!
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Do you love March? Why or why not? Drop a comment below 💛💛
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Selection Sunday and PI Day falling on the same day... Somebody pinch me. Two of my very favorites because of the projects you can start in your classroom 😍 Take for instance my March Math Madness PBL
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Think March Madness + Fantasy Basketball + Lots of Math + A sprinkle of ELA = Engagement & Excitement & Learning 💛🏀💛
Students are separated into the 4 divisions then work together to put together a new starting 5 from players in their division. #dreamteam Each round their individual players are awards point values for how they played. At the end of each round students will calculate their team’s total points and decide which dream team comes out victorious! There are some really great opportunities to see Math in action. There’s opportunity for measurement conversion, converting fractions to decimals, ordering decimals, ratios, mean-median-mode, adding and subtracting decimals, multiplying decimals...etc. This is quickly becoming another tried and true favorite in the classroom!
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Also if you think your too late to the table, the only thing you are late for is brackets! The dream team activity can be started before any round! Second round would actually be ideal 👊🏻👊🏻 LOTS of FREEBIE extensions for this product that can stand on their own! Head to the website for more details!
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