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This school year, I’m taking two approaches to incorporating puzzles into my classroom on a regular basis. Every Monday, I put a new magnetic puzzle up on the dry erase board. For example, last week we tackled the Domino Effect Puzzle.
I also have a table that I have designated as the “Puzzle Table.” These puzzles tend to be more hands-on puzzles with lots of different challenges using the same set of hands-on pieces.
For the first month and a half of school, my students really enjoyed the SOMA Challenges I shared about this past summer.
This week, the SOMA blocks are going back in the cabinet and being traded out for TANGRAMS!
After my first year of teaching, I invested in a class set of tangrams. I love using tangrams as a growth mindset puzzle at the beginning of the year by asking students to create a square using all 7 tangrams.
With the SOMA Challenges, my students really enjoyed being able to flip through the binder of puzzles and choose a challenge to work on. I decided to give my students a binder full of tangram puzzles to work on.
I got the tangram pictures from my favorite clipart website – Clipart ETC. The website is chock-full of educational clipart that can be used by teachers 100% for FREE. My most-used section of their website is their collection of coordinate plane clipart.
They have an entire section of Tangram Puzzle Clipart that made putting together this binder super easy.
I love that there is a great variety of images. Hopefully, my students will all be able to find some tangram puzzles that capture their interest.
There are 97 different challenges which should keep my students busy for a very long while.
If you don’t want to put out all the challenges at once, you could also put one up each day/week/etc with magnets.
To save you the work of copying and pasting the tangram clipart yourself, I’ve decided to share the PDF file of free printable tangram puzzle challenges with you.
Download Free Printable Tangram Puzzle Challenges (PDF)
Tangram Challenge Binder (PDF) (17154 downloads)
Tangram Challenge Binder (Editable Publisher File ZIP) (4683 downloads)
My Favorite Math Manipulatives
More Tangram Puzzles
- Winter Mystery Tangram Puzzle
- Christmas Mystery Tangram Puzzle
- Thanksgiving Mystery Tangram Puzzle
- Halloween Mystery Tangram Puzzle
- Printable Heart Tangram Puzzle
- Bat Tangram Puzzle
- 97 Fun Printable Tangram Puzzles for the Classroom [Free PDF]
- Bear Tangram Puzzle
- Camel Tangram Puzzle
- The Egg of Columbus Puzzle
Sunday 20th of October 2019
Using Tangrams is a great way for students to begin exploring the properties of shapes. This is a great manipulative to use to begin progressing through the Van De Walle stages of Geometric Thought.
Monday 30th of September 2019
Thanks for sharing these! Are the images proportional to the blocks so that students could put the shapes on the image as they solve? (Sometimes I give students an outline to follow, so just wondering if this would work.)
Sarah Carter (@mathequalslove)
Tuesday 21st of July 2020
I do not believe they are proportional. Sorry!
Monday 28th of October 2019
Tricia, We have used Tangrams in our classroom to explore working with shapes in a hands on and engaging way that gets students talking about geometry and the properties of shapes. One activity that worked really well was giving the students a piece of paper with an animal on it and they had to use a given set of Tangrams to create the animal. Students would set the shapes on top of the animal; the only outline was the outside of the animal so students were exploring the shapes by figuring out what filled the inside of the animal. Overall, such a fun activity for students to explore geometry. -Lexie