For Educators - Differences Between Playing the Game and Playing the Puzzles

Teacher Tips

Differences Between Playing the Game and Playing the Puzzles

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There are two basic ways that you can use Lure of the Labyrinth with your students. You can have them play it as it was primarily intended - as a full-fledged game - or you can have them play its puzzles as separate, standalone activities. Throughout these materials (especially here and here), we provide much information on these two ways of using Lure of the Labyrinth. And here, for your convenience (and your academic planning ...), we offer a summary of some of the differences between playing the game and playing the puzzles:

Playing the Game Playing the Puzzles
The game story is an ongoing part of the experience, providing a 'hook' for further game play and opportunities for literacy learning The game story is not a part of playing the puzzles.
Students can be grouped into teams within
Lure of the Labyrinth, turning the game into a competitive (and for many students, more compelling) experience.
Students do not accumulate points that count toward obliterating rooms, but they do receive points in puzzle mode.
Students can communicate with other members of their team using the TPC (Tasti Pet Communicator). Students cannot use the TPC to communicate, but you can use your classroom configuration to promote student collaboration during puzzle play.
Data tracking is available to you when your students are playing the game. You can monitor many aspects of their work and performance as well as their TPC messages.

Data tracking is also available when you work with individual puzzles.

In addition, there are other ways (including discussion and using graphic organizers) that you can use to assess students’ work during puzzle play.
Individual students will be at different stages of the game at any given point in time (meaning they can access only some of Lure of the Labyrinth's puzzles based on their progress through the game story). This can make it difficult to bring all of your students together around a particular puzzle (and its relevant math content) during classroom or computer-lab sessions. You can have your students work on any of Lure of the Labyrinth's puzzles. This means you can have all of your students use the same puzzle – at the same time – as a way to introduce, practice with and/or review the relevant math content in that puzzle. You can also use our lesson plans to extend and develop the learning students begin during their puzzle play.
It will take students many hours to play the entire game (although only the most enthusiastic will try to do so all at once!). Because of this, we recommend that you have your students do as much of their game play as possible outside of classroom time - at home, the library, the computer lab. Students' game play is automatically saved on Lure of the Labyrinth servers, so they'll always be able to pick up where they left off no matter where they play the game. Puzzle play, as noted above, can be very focused. You can have all of your students work on a particular level of a puzzle in as little as a few minutes. This makes it relatively easy to incorporate puzzle play into any amount of available classroom time.
Playing the game is a very open-ended experience, in which students are rewarded for exploring, taking chances and using the scientific method in their efforts to accumulate points and win the game. While students are still rewarded for 'thinking like mathematicians', puzzle play is, by definition, somewhat less open-ended and exploratory than game play.
There is no way you can have your students play the game too much! There is no way you can have your students play the puzzles too much!

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