I like puzzles. I used to do sudoku puzzles. I tried bringing them into the classroom, even though it wasn’t math, because I figured it would be better than word searches or mazes for those times when you need to give some of the kids a filler activity. It didn’t work all to well – my low performing kids aren’t interested in that level of pattern analysis.
I’ve since started doing KenKen, and my sudoku habit has dropped by the wayside. I don’t use it for the kids. If I had to have an education related excuse, it’s that it keeps my mind sharp with all of the skills I need to be able to develop a complex algebra problem with a appropriate level solution for one particular kid’s skill level.
But mostly it’s just a fun way to spend a couple of minutes each day.
The two sites I use are The NY Times site and the Official KenKen site. The rules share some minor similarities with those of sudoku, but involve doing actual arithmetic, rather than just pattern matching.