Problem Solving with Tangrams

While the word "tangram" may not sound familiar, I'll bet you've seen one before.  Comprised of seven different pieces in various shapes and sizes, the Tangram is an ancient Chinese puzzle with infinite solutions.  

 
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For so many, problem solving challenges can make you want to pull your hair out!  There is nothing more frustrating than staring at an object or a question with a single solution that you just can't seem to put your finger on.  That's what makes the Tangram such an effective and inviting learning tool - it can be anything you want it to be.  Used flexibly, children can create all sorts of shapes and patterns with the pieces to learn about color, congruency, symmetry, area, perimeter, geometry; and when presented as a puzzle, Tangrams will help students develop problem-solving and logical thinking skills, perceptual reasoning (nonverbal thinking skills), and visual-spatial awareness.  

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The best part, you can pick from a free printable Tangram, a Tangram app, or a good old fashioned Tangram set.