In one of the lesson we conducted an activity through a challenging thinking game called “Chinese Stones.”
Towards the end of the lesson, a question arose on the table, “Who can beat the teacher?” At first the answer was unanimous – “nobody”, “the teacher is invincible”. This is despite the fact that the students were already familiar with the method of almost guaranteed victory. I believed that they were capable and I continued to urge them to try and deal with the teacher, in addition it is better that they face the challenge and fail compared to giving up in advance.
One of the students had an interesting thought – “What if we add another stone?” We talked about it at the table and came to the conclusion that the strategy changes but the principle is the same. That curious student felt safe to stand in front of the teacher but with the addition of one stone. While we wait for the teacher to free up to play in front of him, I realize that the student may still lose because the teacher is familiar with the method of adding a stone. Fast before the start of the game I encourage the student to add five (!) Stones, and so he does.
The teacher was confused by the change of game, the student who understood the principle made every move properly, and won.
The teacher was happy, the student was happy and the table believed that anyone could win now.