Skip to content

Awesome codebreaking lesson

October 21, 2011

Possibly overstating it slightly but I had a maths lesson today with my mixed ability year 9 class where everyone was on task for 55 minutes, all students had at least one ‘aha’ moment and differentiation was a breeze.

I copied a page from a Codebreaker book. This is a fairly popular puzzle where each letter is replaced by a number. You’re given a starter letter and then have to work out the rest. This is actually quite hard indeed.

So, I wrote “E=8 but don’t tell the other tables” on paper and gave it to one table. Similar messages were given to the others. Throughout the lesson I ‘leaked’ other letters and clues by pinning them to the wall or blu tacking to a window.

I was impressed with the determination to find a solution. There’s just something about the desire to break a code! Many students looked in the dictionaries I have in my room.

The weaker students could easily be given extra letters or even whole words.

Where’s the maths? Well, it’s nothing that’s on the curriculum but the problem solving skills and perseverence message was easily worth a lesson in itself.

Next time, I’ll use some audio and video clues too.

I’ve attached the grid I used but I don’t have the cluse with me at present (they’re in school) but you could easily pick up your own set next time you’re in a newsagent. It will probably cost you less than a pound!


From → Uncategorized

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: