Last week I showed you the O’Beirne puzzle and 30 of you very quickly responded to the offer of a free puzzle. I hope you’ve gotten it by now. In future posts I’ll explore with you some ways to use the puzzle to engage students with Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice as well as Common Core Content Standards for fifth, sixth and seventh grades.
The purpose of this post is to show you a fairly easy way to create a version of the puzzle for yourself using 1 x 2 lumber. In the video below, we start in the studio talking about what we are about to do and how you can get the lumber. Next, we take you down to the shop where I demonstrate cutting the blocks needed to make the puzzle. I do this on a radial arm saw, but pretty much any power saw could be used.*
Finally, we are back in the studio and I show you how to glue up the twelve short and six long blocks to create the six puzzle pieces. Attached here you will find an isometric drawing of each of the puzzle pieces.
If and when you make a puzzle for yourself, please let me know how it went.
* I realized after making the videos that I didn’t tell you the length of each of the blocks we are cutting out. While the lumber is called 1 x 2, it is really ¾ x 1 ½. I have made the length of the short block three times the thickness, so that’s 2 ¼ inches long for the short block and the 4 ½ inches for the long block.
I am presently the President of AIMS and before that was Director of the Graduate Math/Science Education Program at Fresno Pacific University. After teaching school mathematics in middle school and high school for six years, I have spent forty years either full-time or part-time teaching mathematics to university undergraduate and graduate students in mathematics education. Through all these years it was geometry that I most enjoyed teaching. I still have a passion for geometry and it is this passion and some of the things I’ve learned and continue to learn that I hope to share in many of my blog posts.