Bumps and Edges

by crobertson

Today, Braeden worked on a puzzle.  A simple one, only 24 pieces.

As soon as we were done working on wood puzzles and started working on jigsaw puzzles, I introduced the terms: bumps and edges.  Together we would work on puzzles (not it one sitting, or in one day) and I would say, “Ok, we need to sort the bumps and edges.”  I explained why the bumps were called bumps, running his finger across them.  I explained why edges were edges and how they felt different than bumps.  Once our bumps and edges were sorted, I then explained the corners, “two edges that come together”.  We would then build the frame.  And fill it in.

As time went on, and puzzles became more complicated, I introduced the idea of looking for clues in each piece.  Once a clue was found, then we would try placing the piece in it’s spot.  If it didn’t work, we would try the same piece different ways before determining that it wasn’t the correct piece.

Most recently we’ve worked on 100 piece puzzles.  Once the frame was built, I introduced the idea that we should find pieces that have something in common, and put together that section of the puzzle.  We would do this over and over until the puzzle was complete.

We have started learning how to do jigsaw puzzles a little over a year ago.  Each time we would begin I felt that he seemed to forget everything we did prior.  We practiced so many times, why isn’t he using what I taught him?  I would try my best to keep my mouth shut when he was attempting to put pieces in all the wrong places, but I was overcome and always spoke.

This morning, he chose the Sesame Street puzzle.

We have done this one before, but there was something different about today.  I again found myself trying to keep my mouth shut.  Not understanding why he was trying pieces that clearly didn’t work.  We practiced so many strategies.

That’s when it hit me.


Today, Braeden finished a puzzle.  And I watched.