Ticktacktoe as an Introduction for Problem Solving

Craig Willis, Elementary teacher, Torrence Creek Elementary School

(Abstract PDF)

Unit PDF)           


Ticktacktoe and other games, puzzles or problems could also be presented in illustrating how to semantically solve difficult problems. Problem solving is a difficult activity for most students. With the proper atmosphere students can not only learn to solve problems, but enjoy the challenge of finding solutions.

Analysis of ticktacktoe is presented through illustrations and text. Anyone who understands ticktacktoe will never loose. Understanding is emphasized instead of just memorization.

Six other games demonstrate the math concept of isomorphism. These games do not look like ticktacktoe, but are just like ticktacktoe in form and in rules. These games show that to really understand a problem one must study the problem deeply.

A new game is presented and steps for developing the game are outlined. For a game to be interesting, it must have variables and be fair to both players. This too takes analysis and study to be effective.