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.
- To Learn More About All of the Challenges & Read the Original Blog Post, CLICK HERE
- To save big and purchase all of the challenges, click here
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!
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.
- 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
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.
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.
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!
One of these activities will work as a digital product, however, it works best as a printable 😀
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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!
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.
- Follow @TeachingonlemonLane on Instagram
- Like Teaching on Lemon Lane on Facebook
- Join our exclusive Teaching on Lemon Lane Facebook Group
- Sign-Up for our Monthly Newsletter: No Spam, only make your life easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy goodness… Promise.
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!