Tiling puzzles are fantastic tools for giving students new, unique ways to work on math facts. I have personally used tiling puzzles in my classroom for over 10 years now. However, my least favorite part of tiling puzzles have always been the tiles. These small number tiles are vital to the tiling puzzle, but they get lost so easily! I’ve tried everything – laminating them, making special bags for them, I even created puzzles where they got new tiles for each puzzle. This year I have the ultimate solution. I have created puzzles in Google Slides, which I assign in Google Classroom. Students no longer need paper copies of the tiles. They have digital tiles that they can drag around the screen in order to solve the puzzle.
How do students solve Tiling Puzzles?
Tiling puzzles consist of a series of equations with “holes” that need to be filled. Students put the number tiles into the “holes” in order to make all of the equations true. The number tiles might make more than one equation correct. However, in order to solve the puzzle all of the equations must be made true. Because of this, it is very important to the thinking process for students to be able to move the tiling puzzles around when they are working out the puzzle. Of course this is when all of the number tiles go missing. Thank goodness it won’t happen with these new digital tiling puzzles.
What skills will students work on with this subtraction tiling puzzle?
The subtraction tiling puzzle is meant to help students work on basic subtraction facts. However, as the “holes” are in more places than just the difference, students are also working on addition facts. Also, there is quite a bit of problem solving used when students are working on tiling puzzles. They need to eliminate incorrect answers, work backwards, and consider which problems need a tens place and which don’t.
Which is better – Google Classroom Version or Printed Version?
With the advancement of Chromebooks in the classroom, there is always a conversation of when to use digital resources vs. when to use print resources. We don’t want to use Chromebooks just to use them. Also, we must make sure that the purpose of the resource stays the same or is made better. With tiling puzzles, the most important thing is that students are able to manipulate the number tiles in order to solve the equations. This Google Slides version of my subtraction tiling puzzle allows students to move tiles around the tiling puzzles. Additionally, the number tiles will not be lost as easily as the traditional ones. Finally, by assigning the subtraction tiling puzzles via Google Classroom, it will save you paper and of course the frustration of all of those missing number tiles. So it seems to me that the Google Classroom version of my subtraction tiling puzzle is the best. However, if you still desire the paper copies, they are available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store. Both the digital version and the paper version are completely free!