Have you heard of Puzzle Pies? My friend and co-work, Heather from Hojo's Teaching Adventures worked together to create these fun little manipulatives to help kids with their addition, subtraction, multiplication, and <coming soon!!> division facts.
How do I pull off a Puzzle Pies?
I've used these as a whole group activity to introduce them and my class is now working on them independently. It is interesting to watch them as they turn the pie around to get a different view point! My class is totally silent when they are working on them as a whole class...they are intense in their 'battle' to figure out how to complete the pie. It is awesome! For the kids that were ready to do them independently, they didn't want to be bothered by others because they wanted to 'do the puzzle' and were super engaged. I follow the Pearson and Gallagher model of Gradual Release of Responsibility very closely <you model, share it, guide it, and then move into the independent range. Some kids can do this all in one demonstration or class time....for others, it takes a little longer and those are the kids that you pull to your table in small groups or even independently.
The puzzles are so cool because it allows the kids to practice their basic facts and get in some much needed review work, but they have fun while doing it. Plus, it gives you a way to move away from 'drill and kill' while having paper proof that your kids know their facts or just gave up and glued the pieces together. If you aren't yet convinced, go grab our freebie and give it a try!
Here’s a quick little video of one of my kids working a pie. You can even show this video to your class the first time you introduce them so that they have a little more understanding of what you expect them to do!
Click HERE to see all the Puzzle Pies that are currently being sold
Other requests? Ask them in the comments!
Puzzle Pies for RTI?
Let's say you have students that struggle with their math facts and it is delaying their understanding of other skills you need to be working on with them. You test them and they end up in your RTI group. You can pull these students together at your table and work on those pesky math facts as a group or in pairs. Use manipulatatives to make them even more kinesthetic! Hint: Start off with a smaller pie and then work up!
Puzzle Pies for Enrichment?
So how do you enrich your Little Einsteins? Easy! While others are working on addition or subtraction, go ahead and introduce math arrays and show them the connection between repeated addition and multiplcation and have them begin working on those pesky tables to get them ready for the next grade level. (I'm coming at this from a second grade perspective). Have them complete an array for each problem so that they can find the answer!
Notice that the student here (she is working on an enrichment pie) is actually working on her pie without using the template. Who said you needed a template? It looks like she is ready to go to the next step. If they don't need the template to guide them with the gluing stage, drop that from the expectation. And hey--it saves you from making another copy! Just give them a piece of construction paper for gluing so that you have a paper trail.
You can even have the students create their own Puzzle Pie using this free template!
Puzzle Pies for Centers?
Once your kids are familiar with how puzzle pies work, put them into a work station, or as we call them here, 'purposeful practice'. *I* just call them 'centers'!! Be sure to have a place for students to put them until their dry or they will all get stuck together! I have my students place theirs in the hallway to dry. Now you have an easy assessment!
Puzzle Pies for Display?
Now is the fun part! Puzzle pies make a great bulletin board display. Other teachers or YOUR PRINCIPAL will ooooh and ahhhh over these because they are not 'the norm'. They are great to show that you are showing higher order thinking or critical thinking skills in your classroom, don't you think? =) Also...if you have a tree in your room, you can punch a whole in them and add a string and you have an awesome little ornament or decoration. Just let the kids color all of the pieces first and you can even use bottled blue to trace the lines and add some glitter for a little extra sparkle!
Here’s the FREE download we promised! You’ll get 11 pages of Puzzle Pies that you can use to introduce the concept to your students. That’s three addition puzzles, four subtracting puzzles, and four multiplication puzzles.