Sunday, July 8, 2012

Made 4 Math Monday #2- Tarsia Puzzle

For the second Made 4 Math Monday I created a Tarsia Math Puzzle to share that is a review of binomial factors and polynomial equations. Tarsia puzzles are great review activities for students in which students match up pieces of a puzzle with math problems to another piece with their answers. Tarsia puzzles are self-checking because once put together they form a completely new shape than the original shape students receive from their teachers. Hermitech Labs is where you can download the Tarsia puzzle creator for free. (You will find the Tarsia download towards the bottom of the page. You might also have to download the program in order to open the puzzle I attached.) I like to have students work in small groups to solve a Tarsia puzzle together, showing their work on the puzzle pieces themselves.

There are other formats that you can use for each Tarsia puzzle that you create. For example, I like to use the Tarsia Table Forms for "I Have- Who Has?" classroom activities. While I never like to over do any specific classroom activity, Tarsia is one that I use at least 2-3 times every year. The puzzles are nice activities to leave for substitutes or to have around for those days when you need something to spice things up in the classroom.


  1. I have used the Tarsia puzzles several times in my Algebra 1 inclusion classroom and they are awesome! And I can't believe the software is free and works as well as it does!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing all your fabulous ideas. Can you catch me up? I missed what Made 4 Math Monday is entirely! I have days of the week like Monday Mindbender, Tuesday Notes, Wednesday is POW day, Thursday is Mad Minute day, and Friday is Fun Friday. Is that kind of what M4MM is? And can you help a bit also with "Tarsia puzzle?" I know you are pouring your heart and soul into this, so asking for more is sort of greedy, my bad. And I am starting at a new school in the Fall, after 16 years! Eeps! Excited to start anew and hopefully be inspiring.

    Amy in Sebastopol, California

    1. Congratulaltions on your new job. I am sure you will do great. Made 4 Math Mondays was an idea started up by two of the teacher bloggers/tweeters that I follow, Lisa Henry- Old Dog New Tricks,and Shelli Temple- Stat Teacher. (They are both on my blog roll, and Stat Teacher has links to all the contributers on her blog. This was just a way for teachers to share what they were creating for their rooms over the summer...great idea right? Anyone can share their project on twitter #made4math or you can send it to Shelli on her blog.

      How can I help you with Tarsia? You must download the program from the link I gave you. From there you can choose whatever puzzle or activity you would like to use. It is fairly easy to use once you get into the program. Let me know if you have any problems. Again, good luck to you at your new school.

    2. Thanks Christy,

      Once I figure out more about my shared space and the expectations they have for me, I will certainly share!