We’ve reached the end of our SCAMPER journey and I hope these posts have been helpful! If you missed any of the intervening letters, here are the links to the SCAMPER sheet that should be in every team’s competition kit and the posts about getting the most out of the technique:
Background on the technique
S is for Substitute
C is for Combine
A is for Adapt
M is for Magnify/Minify
P is for Put to Another Use
E is for Eliminate
And now for Rearrange. During the USAT season, the writers often employ at least one Mind Sprint where spatial awareness is key. Objects and ideas are flipped over or reversed, or the sequence of events may need to be changed in order to solve a problem. We ask students to use shapes and tools to copy images or to create their own pictures. Some students find this fun and easy, but for others it can be a real challenge.
One way to tap into this skill is to try out a set of tangrams with your students. Tangrams are an ancient Chinese toy that gained popularity in Europe during the 1800’s. I had a set growing up and they are a lot of fun! With some imagination almost anything can be made by moving around these geometric shapes. Feel free to download and use both the tangram cut-out at left and the animal shapes at the end of the post.
Another way to hone rearranging skills is to use scrambled words. A day or two after teaching my ESL students new vocabulary words, I will often give them the words again but with the letters in the wrong order and ask them to figure out what the words are. For a native English speaker the exercise is mostly about moving the letters around in their minds and recognizing patterns, but it also helps my Bulgarian students learn to spell the words correctly. This is a fun game to play with your students, and it is quick and easy to prepare. Words can have a theme like foods, school subjects, toys, etc or they can be random to make it more challenging.
Likewise, you can scramble math problems. If a person is given the answer and all the components to a problem, she can use the order of operations to decipher the original equation. For instance, the answer is 49, the components are 3, 4, 7, ( ), + and x. What is the math problem?
Answer: (3+4)x7 = 49.
Happy SCAMPERing and good luck at the first Meet on December 12!