Saturday, April 19, 2014

Spark Student Motivation - The Ultimate Puzzle

Happy Saturday! If you are like me, you had yesterday off for Good Friday, so it's a 3-day weekend! I am linking up with Joanne at Head Over Heels for Teaching for her Spark Student Motivation Saturday.

This time of year, I will do ANYTHING to keep my kiddos motivated! They tend to finish their work a little faster now that testing is over for math, and the end of the year is about 7 weeks away! Last week, I had some students ask for something to do after a quiz, and I told them I had some extra credit for them. "Sweet!" they thought...even sweeter when I gave them a 16 piece puzzle and told them to make a 4x4 square. When they did, they would get a free 100. I knew that it took me much longer than the 15 minutes they had left in class, but it had been done in under 5 minutes before. Or so I am told. I don't know if I believe it!

They started by trying to make a 2x2 and then add on to make a 3x3 square.

These boys got the hang of it quickly!

Until--that LAST piece didn't fit! BUMMER!

These kiddos refused to leave until it was finished--I had to write them a tardy pass when I finally got them to go!

Needless to say, no one has gotten it YET, but every free moment we have had they have worked on it! And that, to me, is a WIN!

P.S. In case you are wondering, I got these from a math conference, but I believe you can get more information/order them online here:

I was not compensated or asked to write this post. All opinions are my own.


  1. This was obviously very engaging for your students! I love it when they take a project and run with it -- especially when they don't even know they are learning in the process. :)

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

  2. I've never seen the 16 piece puzzle made with puzzle pieces, just pictures that line up and you're right, they LOVE and HATE them! LOL! They get so excited because it's a "puzzle" and then that last piece doesn't line up! Great motivator! Thanks for linking up Danielle!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  3. I love tasks that require kids to work hard and try again. The ability to not give up on something that is challenging is such an important skill for kids to learn!

    The Math Maniac