The final solution was that the German owns the fish. If I were to explain why this is the solution it would take me a long time. However I can give you an abridged version. My method was not very structured. I did a lot of guessing and checking with this problem. I figured out the obvious clues. The Englishman lived in the red house and smokes Pall Mall. I saw on the clues that the Pall Mall smoker also owned birds so that could not have been the owner of the fish. 4 more people to go. The Swede owns the dogs so he OR she cannot own the fish. 3 more to go. The Blend smoker has a neighbor who keeps cats. But we also found that the Norwegian lives in the first house. We found out that the person who lived next to the Norwegian was the blue house. The blue house owner drinks tea and the swede drinks tea. The neighbor of the Blue house owns cats. So it is between the Englishman and the Norwegian. The Englishman owns the birds as we already found out so it has to be the Norwegian who owns the cats. Now it is between 2 more people. We know the owner who owns the horses also lives next to the person who smokes blends. We know that the Norwegian smokes blends and he is the first house so it has to be the house next to him. The Dane owns horses which only leaves the GERMAN to own the fish.
I was Personally proud of myself when I completed this task because we did not finish at a group on the first day it was assigned to us. However through independent work and another session of working on it, it finally all came together. It was the best feeling when we finally figured it out. I was particularly proud of myself because I did not give up. Most groups figured out their free think friday problems during the first or second Friday that we got to work on them. When we were still stuck we did not get discouraged, in fact just the opposite. Seeing all of the other groups finish their problems and start their posters made me, Alex and Francisco to work even harder and come together to figure out this challenging problem. This definitely pushed me as a problem solver because it made me look at every part of the problem. A lot of times when I do math, I will accidentally skip a step or miss a step, and the whole problem will fall apart. Although this happened once during the process, I did not give up and we powered through it. It pushed me to look and think about every sep along the way, which eventually led us to figuring out the problem. This problem could be related to two of the Mathematical practices which were; to make sense of problems and persevere & Look for and make use of structure. Although both of these practices were used, I think that I used looking for and making use of structure to my advantage the most. This problem was all about laying out all of the given clues to figure out more clues that would eventually lead you to the correct answer. We made a table and labeled all the parts to lay out all the clues in a visual representation that made it easier for us to organize and solve the problem.
It was really just a huge group effort. Every single member contributed to the completion of the project. What was cool about this problem was that everyone found clues that others did not notice. Francisco pointed out some things that were somewhat obvious that Demos and I totally looked past, as well as helping us with much harder clues as well. The finding of clues was not dominated by one person in the group. Our strengths as a group were listening to everyone's ideas. When I had an idea, Demos would allow me to take control of the spread sheet and try my theory. If it did not work we would all come back together and try a new idea. The part we struggled with was we would sometimes try to figure it out in our own heads for 5 - 10 minutes at a time and realized we weren't even talking to each other about the problem. When we did this, we missed out on a lot of opportunities to figure out the clues quicker. I will work with this group again for the next free think friday. I think we did pretty well over all and would be willing to tackle any other problem that comes our way.