Episode 104 : Eric Berlin – Using Puzzles to Promote Creative Thinking

This podcast is a dialogue with Eric Berlin, a fan of creative thinking by using puzzles. Differentiation of terms: ‘thinking creatively’ and ‘creating’, Eric’s site for puzzles, types of crosswords and integrating puzzles in the classrooms are among the main ideas of the episode.

The creators tried to inform and persuade the listeners. How do i know? The creators informed about the benefits of puzzles by giving logical arguments. For instance, creators say that puzzles teach kids how to ask right questions in real life situations. They also make a point on that puzzles can be helpful in developing meta-cognition and problem-solving skills. Thus, Eric persuades the listeners to use his own site where he had launched a variety of puzzle-resources for free. The site is available to be utilized by all: teachers, students and parents in order to promote creative thinking.

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The episode provides different evidences for popularizing puzzles and using them in creative thinking. Seeing problems as puzzles; a character of Winston in Eric’s three books for children aged from 9 to 12; different ways of crosswords; competition of MIT mystery hunt; teams’ collaboration in life-puzzling events these are all the factors that  help this podcast to achieve its initial purpose and made it extremely interesting!

I learnt a lot of new things from this podcast as it was in a way unique and joyful to listen to. I would recommend this podcast to my group mates who are parents. Because the puzzles by Eric do not have exclusive subject concentrated on, but are mixed, the puzzles have variety of vocabulary starting from city names ending up with math terms. All my group mate-parents have to do is just watch and listen as their children solve these puzzles. Then they can see the gaps of subjects where their children feel weak. The puzzles’ cliche is: ‘fun first, education second’. So there is no doubt that the puzzles will be entertaining as well as involving children into active thinking process.

 

References

http://www.npr.org/podcasts/514312608/teaching-matters

Links http://www.puzzleyourkids.com/

Photo credits to https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ericberlin/puzzle-your-kids

 

3 thoughts on “Episode 104 : Eric Berlin – Using Puzzles to Promote Creative Thinking

  1. @yasawi859, thank you for your post
    Even though I don’t have my own children I’d love to listen to this podcast if someday there would be a free spot in my timetable. But before that, knowing the fact that you have lots of nieces and nephews, would you recommend this type of activity to your brothers and sister? do you really think that puzzling is really entertaining and kids may become a fan of it? From my personal point of view, I’m afraid that this kind of activities might be boring for kids and I’d rather prefer them to do more outside activities so that by the end of the day they’ve become really tired physically and do not get the nerves of their parents). In the end, it’s their childhood and we should not deprive it. However, it is definitely one of the activities that should be used with your kid if you want his/her comprehensive development. How do you think how we can find the right balance between active and passive activities usage?

    Like

  2. Nice post, Yasawi.
    You picked an episode I had not actually heard yet, and because of your review and response to it, I was motivated to listen to it, and even to add the Teaching Matters podcast to my list of regularly updated shows. Your writing is very good here, despite a couple minor errors:
    1. For instance, creators say that puzzles teach kids how to ask right questions in real life situations. (article)
    2.How do i know? (capitalization)
    3….teams’ collaboration in life-puzzling events these are all the factors that help this podcast to achieve its initial purpose and made it extremely interesting! (Punctuation)
    (5/5)

    Like

  3. Yasawi,
    Thank you for your informative blog. I have searched the Eric’s website and found out that this activity is very useful to engage children in thinking and completing puzzles as well as learning necessary vocabulary while parents are busy with their house work.
    However, parents can not leave children in front of the computer alone to solve puzzles if children are 3-4 years old. Therefore, parents have to help and control children’s activity anyway as in any other game. What are your suggestions in this respect?
    Another question concerns child’s own creativity. How does solving a particular puzzle influence developing child’s creativity further?

    Like

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