Using Sudoku In The Classroom

I needed a warm-up for my students. I told them that the most important muscles for them to exercise were their fingers and brain. I had KTouch to help them warm-up their fingers, but what to use for their brains? Sudoku of course.

Every class period, especially the early morning periods, my students will do 20 minutes worth of Sudoku puzzles. I have incentivized the time by offering points on their final grade for every puzzle completed during this, “official Sudoku,” time period. This is only the second day of trying it, but as we speak, my students in their free time are playing Sudoku and not even for points.

I picked Sudoku for a few reasons. First off, it is part of the default Ubuntu distribution, which means no need to maintain yet another piece of software on my computer images. Second, the game allows for multiple solutions to achieve one goal. I immediately drew the comparison between fixing computer problems and playing Sudoku: there are many ways to go about achieving the same thing. This of course being part of my continued battle against the rigid form of thinking enforced within the Kenyan education system. And finally, the application itself has many forms of interaction (mouse, keyboard, etc), allowing for my students to develop not only their own method of solving Sudoku puzzles, but also their own use-patterns with the application. The end hope is for them to passively develop efficiency in application interaction.

We’ll see how it all turns out.

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One response to “Using Sudoku In The Classroom

  1. Andrew Carroll

    Jon,

    You sound like a real teacher here!!! That is awesome thinking, maybe you just needed time to try and fail and then try again. Keep it up!