Trial and error is an important learning tool. However some of our students do not understand its value and see only failure. This activity works well with social pragmatic groups and goes well with the Superflex program. It requires students to use a trial and error method of problem solving. It teaches students to be flexible learners without falling apart when they find out they are wrong. It gives practice for defeating Rock Brain and Glassman if you are using that curriculum. This activity can be used to reinforces the idea that mistakes are not necessarily bad and can be used for learning.
The activity also teaches students to work together toward a common goal. The solution will be found by observing the mistakes of other students and it would be very difficult to succeed individually. Students also need to use their short term memory and make inferences.
The activity can be used with small groups of students, two competing teams, or with one or two students. The object of the game is to cross a 6x6 grid in 6 moves stepping on the correct sequence of stars.
A judge, who could be a student or teacher, is selected. The judge takes one of the pattern cards that will be the solution to the stepping pattern. A student begins the challenge by stepping on one of the stars in the first row and moves one row ahead for each step. As the move is made the judge indicates if it is the correct one by saying right or wrong move.If a buzzer is available that can be used for the wrong step. If it is the right step the student continues to move forward. If it is the wrong step the person returns to the start or the end of the line and watches the attempts of others until they get to the front of the line again. The students may notice that a pattern is developing as students discover the correct moves. This will speed up the progress until someone finally makes it across. The students should be reinforced for working as a team and not make it an individual competition to make it to the finish.