Maths - Introduction to Tarsia
What the lesson is about
Tarsia is a piece of freely available software which allows teachers to create a wide range of jigsaws, domino and follow-me activities easily. This lesson helps teachers to get the best from the software.
Taking it further
The advantages of this software are that you can easily create a wide range of activities, including jigsaws of various shapes and sizes, dominoes, matching rectangular cards and follow-me cards. And the teacher does not need to spend time cutting up the jigsaw, as the software automatically jumbles up the pieces in the "output" section. This allows the teacher simply to print out a copy and hand it to students to cut out and assemble.
Having selected what type of activity they wish to create, teachers use the Input screen to insert as many questions and answers as they like.
They can check the answers on the table screen before printing out the jumbled up version for students. They can then print the solution or project it onto an interactive whiteboard for students to check their answers. Completed jigsaws make nice classroom displays.
Tarsia jigsaw activities are versatile and can be used for many mathematical topics and all ability levels. They promote group work and discussion, and provide a good alternative to doing questions out of a textbook.
Craig Barton has written plenty of helpful advice for teachers who want to download Tarsia software - a very easy process - and handy tips on how to get to grips with it. He has also created some excellent resources to showcase the benefit for both teachers and pupils.
Where to find it