Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Problem SolvingSession 03 OverviewTab atab btab ctab dtab eReference
Part A

Observing Student Problem Solving
  Introduction | Making "Ominos" | Student Work | Questions and Answers | Student Work Reflection | Observe a Classroom | Classroom Practice | Your Journal
"Middle-grades students whose curriculum is based on the Standards will benefit from frequent opportunities for both independent and collaborative problem-solving experiences. They will engage profitably in complex investigations, perhaps occasionally working for several days on a single problem and its extensions."

(NCTM, 2000, p. 256)


If you have one square, you can make only one unomino:


If you have two squares, you can make only one domino:


With three squares, you can make two triominos:


All other three-square configurations are reflections and/or rotations of these two triominos.


Hexominos are figures made from six squares that follow these rules:

  • All squares must lie flat on the table.
  • Each square must be attached to at least one other square, both side to side and corner to corner (that is, the sides and corners align).

Here are some examples of hexominos:


Here are some examples of six-square configurations that are not hexominos:


Consider the question below; after you've answered it, select "Show Answer" to see a possible response.

Question: Why aren't the red figures hexominos?

Show Answer
The first arrangement has only five squares that are properly connected, as the top right square is not connected to another square side to side and corner to corner. The second arrangement has two squares (the first and last) that are not properly connected.

next  Observe how a pair of students solved a hexomino problem

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