27 Oct 2014

Lure of the Labyrinth... Yes, of course it's a game!

This week's mental challenge comes from the Lure of the Labyrinth. The interesting part of this game is that it has a separate 'Play the Puzzle' section; the link is just under the 'Play the Game' legend.

If you're not really into playing long games, you can just play the puzzles. You won't get any game credits by playing the puzzles outside of the main game, but they are fun on their own!

You must sign up to play either the game or puzzles but logging in is immediate, with no hunting around for a confirmation email. Click "Sign up here!", create a username and password and off you go!

Have fun!

And let me know if you prefer the game or the puzzles.

14 Oct 2014

Coursera for Kids!

I haven't posted in a few weeks, but that doesn't mean that we've been idle!

We've been looking at those websites that are designed for adults but that can be equally fascinating for gifted kids. This short article is about Coursera.

Coursera.org is similar to Academic Earth, but seems to have shorter courses that can be done in 4 to 6 weeks rather than whole undergraduate lectures. So... is there really anything for kids on there?

8 Sep 2014

How to Solve Some Logical Reasoning IQ Test Puzzles

Last week we discovered two things: that very few students in our real-life club have had a formal IQ test; and that many students enjoy doing puzzles. So, putting these together we shall start our quest to find the best IQ tests online and treat them as puzzles to solve, understand and then make our own.

Each blog post will look at one online IQ test. They are not in any order of preference yet, but at the end I shall list the best ones.

This week, we shall look at IQ-TEST.com (Certified by The High IQ Society).

1 Sep 2014

Game About Squares

A nice gentle start to the year with a clever game I found during the summer.

Let's see what level you can reach during the lesson!


Welcome to our IQ Test Factory

Welcome to the new school year and to the Gifted Club for primary students at Traill International School.

I see some new names on the list of invited students. Take the time to look at the various pages on this website; it will give you some idea of what we did last year. Hopefully, you'll also find some interesting stuff you hadn't seen before.

Now, being a gifted kid means that you've probably had to go through numerous tests. Not just school tests but also IQ tests and perhaps even personality tests. Maybe you enjoy them, maybe not so much, but somehow it doesn't seem enough to have genius thoughts, you also have to answer questions made up by someone you'll never know.

2 Jun 2014

Khan Academy for Primary Kids

Last week, I was surprised to learn that none of my students had heard of Khan Academy. Although mainly aimed at secondary topics, many subjects, such as mathematics, start at the very beginning with basic arithmetic.

Every topic has a short video lecture and a comments section to clarify any confusing points. Although the videos can be watched without logging in, it really is worth creating an account as you can keep track of your progress with the Knowledge Map. This shows you all the topics you have completed, those that you need to go back to and those new topics that follow logically from those you have already done. Khan Academy is now huge and the Knowledge Map will help you through the forest.

Cryptograms for Kids

A few weeks back we spent a couple of sessions on cryptography and code cracking. By far the most popular site with my students was Cryptograms.org.

It has a nice clean interface and the letters are easy to input. Every cryptogram is a quotation, so you end up with (hopefully) something interesting to read at the end. However, this does mean that the quotations may have some long or unfamiliar words, but learning new words is also part of the fun! The one thing Cryptograms doesn't let you do is to see a full solution if you've given up on a particularly tough puzzle.

26 May 2014

Play Countdown

One of the most popular and long-running daytime gameshows in the UK is Countdown. Broadcast since 1982, each programme has two contestants pitting their wits against each other, a ticking clock and some word and number puzzles.

The word games involve finding the longest word you can from 9 random letters. In the actual shows, the contestants take turns in selecting how many vowels and consonants there are.

The number games involve using arithmetic operations to reach a random 3-digit target number using 6 randomly selected numbers.

The very last round is known as the 'conundrum', which involves unravelling a 9-letter anagram

19 May 2014

Polymath Crosswords

I shall try to update this blog with all the different websites and resources that we have been using in the after-school club. For now, here's this week's selection.

Polymath No.762

On Saturdays, the Financial Times publishes its weekly Polymath crossword. This is different to the FT's usual cryptic crosswords as it is more of a 'quiz crossword'. You can go directly to Polymath No.762, but bear in mind that this will open up a pdf file and that the link may no longer work in a couple of months as it is taken off their list of recent crosswords. Solutions are published after two weeks.