Tes Maths ROTW: "Convince me!" triangles

Craig Barton
29th January 2018

Tackle the niche topic of arc lengths with this alternative tarsia puzzle, from Fantus

What is it?

I love a tarsia jigsaw, but pupils can spend too much time rearranging the pieces instead of learning. So, say hello to this activity on arc length; a tarsia puzzle with a twist.

Students are presented with an intact jigsaw, which is littered with incomplete questions and common mistakes. Rather than spending their time cutting and sticking, pupils are challenged with identifying, correcting and finishing the problems. Forcing learners to think carefully about simple misconceptions, this activity provides an engaging alternative to the typical worksheet.

How can it be used?

In order to reap the benefits, students need to be familiar with how a traditional tarsia puzzle works. I’d suggest placing learners in pairs and encouraging them to discuss their methodology together, until they are confident with the format.

Why not stretch more-able pupils by asking them to create their own activity? This sort of exercise can be adapted for almost any topic, making it ideal for revision.  
 

Craig Barton was speaking to Victoria Haughton. He is a secondary maths teacher in the north of England.

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