The patent-pending Tetractys™ Number Puzzle has been designed to help students of arithmetic learn how to think abstractly. It does this through a simple rule which relates four digits to one another mathematically and logically, and this rule is both arbitrary and autonomous, just like the symbols it governs. The focus of this rule, and indeed the puzzle as a whole, is nothing other than an exploration of that symbolism, namely, the multifunctional nature of the digits which make up our fundamental representations of number. The Tetractys Number Puzzle builds and expands on this symbolism in order to teach abstract thinking about numbers and operations on numbers. It is in fact a mathematical learning system.
In fact, the Tetractys Puzzle Analysis Template has been designed to help students of arithmetic learn both visually and tactilely by having the student first visualize the structure of the puzzle's rule and then fill in the template tactilely using a dry erase marker. This is one of the best known ways to learn more deeply, and it allows the student to use as many senses as possible in order to understand and retain what is being learned. An additional benefit of using dry erase markers on a laminated template is that puzzles can be done in any order, any number of times.
Writing does matter in learning. Any kind of writing involving tactile feedback with hand movement, whether using a pen, pencil, or dry erase marker, unlike typing on a keyboard or touch screen, significantly increases performance in recalling facts and recognizing correct from incorrect forms. Despite digital technologies appearing to be cutting edge when it comes to learning, they continue to be outperformed by traditional technologies like pen on paper in terms of learning outcomes.