The Group Puzzles Publishing Co.

The Group Puzzles Publishing Company is a new education-oriented technology-driven publishing company. The company brings together under one roof, teaching experience that spans pre-school to college, decades of computer programming experience, and detailed knowledge of a wide range of existing publication software in order to provide teachers with effective educational materials at unprecedented prices. Like many newer "publishers without presses," we prepare books in a particular area of expertise and rely on other companies, such as Amazon and their paperback publishing subsidiary Createspace, to provide manufacturing and distribution of our books. In our case, we have expertise in the area of teaching, logic puzzles, and a custom set of publishing tools that allows us to produce complete, correct, and pedagogically useful books of logic puzzles, for use in schools.

Our first product area is focused on providing a wide range of group logic puzzles, similar to Sudoku puzzles, for teachers to use in the class room to help their students practice logic and deductive thinking. Like many teachers, we have tried to use puzzles to teach logic, and failed. We have, however, used that experience to design guaranteed correct puzzles with step-by-step solutions (rather than simple answer grids) which illustrate for students one possible deductive path to reason from each particular source puzzle to its solution. The availability of step-by-step deductive solutions for every puzzle is the critical missing link for the effective use of logic puzzles in an educational setting, just as working out algebra problems on the board showing all the intermediate steps is a more effective way to teach math than simply presenting students with problems and answers. There are other potential pitfalls to teaching logic using puzzles that are discussed in detail on our web site:

We chose Group Puzzles as our first product area because we believe that encouraging students to learn deductive reasoning is one the more pressing problems in the education system today. We also believe that one of the most important reasons why it is often not taught effectively is that there are simply not enough good educational materials available for teachers to use. A second reason is that it is hard to make logic fun and to encourage students to practice logic regularly, which is why our focus is on puzzles. A third important reason is cost for teachers. Our goal is to make costs as low as possible for teachers by specifying explicitly in our books, eBooks, and daily web site puzzles, that teachers may photocopy and use puzzles and solutions in their classes without cost. There are no copyright, permission, or registration hassles, and the answer to most objections posed by a school administrator will be found on the copyright page of the book in question. Explore the daily puzzles on the web site and try printing out puzzles at several different sizes and difficulty levels that you think might be appropriate for your class. Puzzles showing the step number at which an empty cell value can be deduced are particularly useful in class room settings with students that are not particularly familiar with Sudoku-type logic puzzles. Although no advertising is attached to the smaller puzzles that are most appropriate for most elementary and middle school students, advertising is attached to the larger puzzles to support this effort. If you want to provide additional support for this effort, you can spread the word to others or buy a book for use in your classroom or library.

One recurring question is whether we will provide web or 'app' style interactive games rather than books. Although this might be technically feasible, we are unsure of the educational values of such materials. For most of our puzzles, we believe that such interaction and computer-based annotation would shift the emphasis away from thinking and learning, and would encourage a rapid fire guess and check approach to problem solving, which we do not see as useful and is not our intention. We believe that this may be a viable educational approach for enormous puzzle sizes, such as Sudoku-25 or Sudoku-36 puzzles which require much more bookkeeping and annotation to solve, and for that reason it is on the back burner for development.

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