Accessible Math

October 2018

Tarsia Puzzlemaker

If your students enjoy card sorts as a way of showing what they know, consider downloading this free puzzlemaker and reading the implementation tips from the Mr. Barton's Math blog. His post describes a number of ways to thoughtfully use the card sets including: Convince Me, using multiple right answers, inserting distractors, and how to "document" student work with card sets. The magic is always in how you use the tool and the questions you ask to elicit student thinking.


As a teacher, I love materials that are flexible and easy to use with students. Any content can be entered into the puzzle format from simple addition or ten frame images to images of graphs that can be matched to equations. The puzzlemaker automatically scrambles the answers so students can be given a whole sheet to cut apart themselves or teachers can have the sets pre-cut to increase active learning time. Card sorts can be done individually, in pairs, or small groups effectively.


Tarsia puzzles can be saved as PDFs for easy printing and sharing with other educators who may not have downloaded the puzzlemaker tool. There are other ways to extend the learning and increase student accountability like leaving one answer blank or as a question mark so the student will need to do the last answer on paper as a formative assessment task.


If you are interested in using Tarsia puzzles, but to busy to create your own, email me the topics or standards you need and I will create them to share on miPLACE.


Happy Puzzling!

Register Now -- All dates for 2018-2019

Registration is now OPEN for all 2018-19 courses.


If none of these dates work for you, there's I can still schedule a visit to your building. We can also schedule a 60-90 minute personalized session with a group of teachers from your building or district on any of these topics:


  • Word problems & solving strategies
  • Math language routines and Number Talks
  • Great Math Routines for Deeper Learning
  • Emergent Instruction
  • Building Thinking Classrooms for Co-Teaching
  • Math Recovery - What now?


Math Trajectories for Alternate Assessment January 16th and February 13th

SDI Math for Emergent Learners March 26, 2019

SDI Math for Conventional Learners January 17th

Building Thinking Classrooms - Co-teaching Mathematics December 18th

Save me a date?

Here's a link to reserve time for me to come to you! . New dates will continue to be added throughout the year. Once you sign up for a time slot, you will receive confirmation email and request for a little information about your priorities for our time together: individual students, whole/small group instruction, targeted intervention, data & assessment, or "name your own" focus.