Lately, Tuesdays have been "game lunch" here in the department. I head down to the Math/CS lounge and bring my lunch and a few different games in mind. We have one of those 7-game sets that has checkers, chess, etc, and a set of dominoes, which usually covers us for a lot of combinatorial games. We've also played some Gloom and other games the students are interested in.
Today a student told me she looks forward to this a lot. She explained that she feels like she's doing something really intelligent while playing. The games motivate the challenge of playing well, which is certainly a daunting task! Predicting, calculating, being precise... all must be employed.
Even games which use some randomness and might not be as tough (lately we've been playing Gloom, which is excellent) require some planning ahead and strategy.
The best part is that this apparently gets their minds running for the day and helps motivate them on their other work!
... at least, that's what they told me...
A Domino-Covering Problem
2 months ago