I have always used riddles and puzzles to engage my students. Game playing at some point in my course plans serves multiple purposes- sometimes to wake up the lesson, sometimes to ease tension, and sometimes just to share some fun.
Previously, these games were mostly only a part of my bell-ringer / attendance minutes at the front end of each class, but this year I have started to thread brain teasers, number games, puzzles, and optical illusions into my lessons.
This year I have also started to observe how the students go about solving the various mind-benders that I throw at them. In our debrief discussions, we share problems solving strategies, sudden solutions, and collaboration tips.
Have you experimented with puzzles or riddles as part of your lesson structure? Have you ever assessed puzzle solving strategies? Have you considered the connections between learning and puzzle solving strategies? Hit me up with your thoughts.