I love using IQ Circle Puzzles in my classroom on the first day of school to teach my students about the importance of having a growth mindset.
IQ Circle Puzzles are meant to be used as a party favor. My mom happened upon this entire box of these puzzles at a garage sale for a grand total of $1. That has turned out to be a dollar well spent for my classroom!
I have seen them on Amazon before, but I recently did a search and couldn’t find them.
Inside each IQ Circle box, there is a black, circular case. My students claimed that these looked like they held makeup!
And, inside each case are pieces to make a circle.
The box claims that there are more than 10 ways to build a circle out of these pieces. I dumped out the pieces of one of the puzzles to try. Fifteen minutes later, I still wasn’t able to put the circle together. I knew that it had to be possible because I had just dumped out a completed circle. I put the puzzle aside out of frustration, and my sister ended up completing it for me. We’re super competitive, so that made me feel great!
To ensure that my students wouldn’t take the easy way out and try to cheat, I dumped all of the circle puzzles into their own individual ziplock bags. But, before I did that, I opened all of the puzzles up and took pictures of them in their solved states. I counted twelve different solutions in my box. Twelve different solutions and I couldn’t even find one on my own…
When I use these with students, I do take the pieces out of the circle and place the pieces and the circular case in a ziploc bag for students to grab.
I don’t have quite enough IQ circles for all of my students, so when I use this during the first week of school I change things up and give half the class the IQ Circle Puzzle and the other half of the class a Square Tangram Puzzle.
In 2014, I did this as my first day of school activity. When students entered the room, they were instructed to take a bag of shape pieces from the black table to their desk. They were asked to assemble the pieces into either a square or a circle. The only rule: you must use ALL of the pieces.
Students who picked up bag of tangrams were instructed to make a square using all of the tangram pieces. Students who picked up a bag of circle pieces were to make a circle. Some of the students tried to make circles out of the tangram pieces. That didn’t quite work out for them…
Students were still working on their puzzles when I began my introduction of myself. I had a few students who were able to complete the circle or square, but the majority of students were unable to complete them in the allotted time.
More Fun Activities for the First Week of School
- Game of Sim
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- Circle Tic Tac Toe
- Ultimate Tic Tac Toe
- Left Center Right Dice Game
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- Let’s Make Squares Activity
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- Master Designer
- Save Fred Activity
- Ink Stain Matching Activity
- Make Six Puzzle – Number Challenge
- Lonesome Llama Activity
- Survival in the Desert Groupwork Task
- Two Buckets Puzzle