Implementation Ideas for Wuzzit Trouble Game
Teachers implement Wuzzit Trouble (or Wuzzit Trouble Jr) in their classroom and lessons in a variety of ways. Some of these approaches require the teacher to be ‘hands off”, while others involve the teacher’s active engagement. Review these ideas and try one that is best for you and your students, or make up your own implementation strategy.
Wuzzit Trouble as Warm-up Activity. Have students play independently for 10 minutes at the start of the lesson without teacher assistance.
Wuzzit Trouble as Individual Work Station. Assign half the students to play the game independently during the math lesson in one part of the classroom, while the other half completes offline work on the current math topic (e.g., worksheets). Assist students who are not playing the game, giving them individualized attention on their worksheets, or other offline math work. After about 15 minutes, have students switch what they’re doing, so those playing the game now work offline and the other half plays the game.
Wuzzit Trouble as Supporting Students’ Mathematical Strategies. Assign students to play the game independently before the math lesson. Actively assist students by walking around the room, encouraging them to use mathematical strategies to solve the puzzles. Be careful not to tell students how to solve the puzzles. Instead, provide prompts such as the following:
- “Tell me more about your strategy.”
- “What’s your plan?”
- “What operation are you using: addition, subtraction, multiplication?”
Make encouraging comments such as, “I knew you could do it.” After about 30 minutes of playing the game, transition to the math lesson for the day.
Wuzzit Trouble as a Way to Teach Algebraic Notations. Ask students to work independently to write an equation for each puzzle they play. Actively support students in their generation of equations. See below for an example:
Teacher: So this gear has 4 teeth. And when I click the gear, I can see where my keys are, right?
Student: It tells you the numbers where the keys are.
Teacher: So now, what’s the equation I need to use to get to 12?
Student: 12 divided by 4.
Teacher: So can you write that down as an equation?
Student: [Writes out the equation on the board. “12 ÷ 4 = 3”]
Teacher: So what do I have to do to unlock the key?
Student: Spin it 3 times