If you’ve been following me for long, 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. 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.
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I wanted to include a fun and FREE challenge 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 Downloads.
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 it’s 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 these activities. 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!
If you loved this activity and you’re on board with facilitating failure throughout the school year, make sure to check out these activities! Remember the reflection sheet is included with the paid challenges.
- The Nitty Gritty Triangle Activity 1
- The Nitty Gritty Tangle Activity 2
- The Nitty Gritty Puzzler Activity 3
- The Nitty Gritty Confuzzler Activity 4
- The Nitty Gritty Scribbler Activity 5
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I’d LOVE to connect and hear how the activity went! Even better… SHARE PICTURES! Few things make my day like seeing my products in your classroom!
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 40 Activities. You can also purchase the challenges individually, see descriptions for more information.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 challenges are FREE Downloads, 2 of which are exclusive to members of On Lemon Lane! Click here to become a member, sign up is FREE and EASY. PEASY. LEMON SQUEEZY.
- The Nitty Gritty Nuisance Activity 6:
- Grit Challenge #7: The Nitty Gritty Bewilderer
- The Big Scribb Whole Class Activity:
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.
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