KenKen tournament report

Dear all,

Finally, I ran KenKen tournament.That was a nice experience for me and I am going to share it with you.

I chose AhmadAbad education zone (Mashhad- Iran ministry of education) to hold the tournament because I am teaching mathematics there. So firstly, I informed other teachers about kenken puzzles competition.  The teachers agreed to introduce students to these types of puzzles and how to solve them, while I was responsible for running the tournament. I asked teachers to choose three student from each school for the tournament. Finally, about 40 students were selected.

After one month, we ran the tournament between selected students from each school. A multi-round tournament was chosen for this competition. The selected students from schools gathered in one place. Although, they knew how to solve kenken, two students were to show them how to solve these puzzles again. We also had lots of one to one competitions with small awards there.

Two students are playing with coming students before the competition

Figure 1- Two students are playing with coming students before the competition

Figure 2- Students are solving kenken puzzles before competition.

Figure 3- A student is helping another for solving kenken puzzles. (In Persian language) 

After we registered the names of participants, selected students from each schools gathered together. They all had samples for solving.

Figure 4- groups of students are preparing for kenken tournament.

I described the process of tournament for students. For each round I had chosen three kenken puzzles. On the first round, two 4*4 and one 5*5 puzzles were copied down on the papers. Because our students in Iran use Persian numeral system and it is a little different from English numbers, I decided to present the numbers in Persian system. This made students to be more comfortable with these lovely puzzles.

Figure 5- Sample of 6*6 kenken in Persian numeral system.

We need a timer to register each student solving time, so I downloaded a free evaluation version of Xnote stopwatch software and it had been used in a way that all students were able to track the time.

Figure 6- Timer for students and our assistants.

After starting the timer, students began the first round.

Figure 7- first round of kenken competition.

This competition was for middle school students, so I decided to get help of four high school students as our assistants. When students finish solving the puzzles, raise their hand and our assistants take the paper from student and record the time, then he deliver it to our scorer.

One of our teachers as scorer got the papers and verified the answers. Of course at the beginning of each round, he was provided with puzzles keys.

Figure 8- Scorer teacher is just verifying the answers.

For second round, three 5*5 kenken puzzles were printed on the papers.

Figure 9-second round of tournament

We begin third round after a short break. For the third round we had one 4*4 kenken puzzle and one 5*5 and one 6*6 puzzle.

Figure 10- students prepare for third round.

We selected 6 students at the end of tournament. They were qualified for our Championship. I had printed six kenken puzzles (6*6) so that each student could stand in front of his puzzle and solve it. While qualifiers were competing with each other, other students could view them.

Figure 11-our finalist students in championship

Figure 12-Other students are watching qualifiers.

At the end of the tournament, the winners got their rewards and we all took some cool pictures. Now after two weeks, students come and ask me for new kenken puzzles.

I think this is exactly what I have been looking for. These fantastic puzzles engendered an intrinsic motivation in the participants driving them towards asking for more of such puzzles. 

Figure 13-KenKen in IRAN

I’m wholeheartedly determined to keep on holding such competitions.

Hamid Divandari.

here are some more pictures. 


(( Cash gifts for our winners))

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