Yesterday I was working on a puzzle at one of my wife’s relative’s house. When I do puzzles I always like to separate the border pieces from the interior pieces and do the border first. That’s how I always do puzzles.
However, I could not do that with this puzzle. It was a venticular puzzle (a puzzle that shows two different images depending on which angle you look at it). The other thing that made it difficult was that a lot of the pieces were cut the same exact way, meaning that one piece could fit in many many other parts of the puzzle, but the puzzle would not look right. You couple those two factors and you have a recipe for a difficult puzzle.
After putting the border together I soon realized that my usual way of putting together puzzles was not going to work. There were many pieces that I put in that border which did not belong in the right piece. I had to take it apart and restart. I had to start in one corner and then add pieces all the way to the other corner.
The point being is that you can not always expect your magical method of doing things to always work for everything, and this is especially true for students. What may work for one student doesn’t always work for another. There are no cookie cutter recipes in teaching. Dont’ be afraid to stray from what you know and try different techniques and approaches.