You know, I really like the way that guy Jon Orr thinks. Using non-mathy apps for potentially unintended purposes to engage learners is something I like to do, and I think Mr. Orr has a knack for similar app twists. I don’t know how I missed it the first time around, but his post on using Explain Everything for more than screen recordings was inspiring to me. As soon as I saw his projects, I knew I wanted to convert a few of my own puzzles from paper to an Explain Everything digital format.
As we revisit factoring to solve quadratic equations later this week, I want students to give this puzzle a try. I’d love to give credit where it’s due for the original PDF file, but I’m not sure where I got it. So whoever you are, thanks for making this! 🙂
To make the EE puzzle, I took a screenshot of each of the 16 puzzle pieces. I added each of these images to an EE slide, uploaded the EE project to Google Drive as Mr. Orr suggests, and made the project file editable in Google’s share settings so you and your students can manipulate it. Here’s what the screen looks like at first:
…and here’s a sample key:
Additionally, when our unit on exponents and radicals rolls around, I plan to use this puzzle as a warm-up. I created this originally as a “BIG HUGE PUZZLE” printed on paper so student groups could assemble it together (which I may still like better than this digital format, simply for the student discourse the big paper puzzle pieces encourage) but I want to give it a go in digital format this time as a time-saver. This is a review topic with a sprinkling of expressions in simplest radical form (which will be a new idea for kiddos). Original screen:
…and sample answer key:
Quite a versatile strategy!
Want to share these files with your students? Grab ’em here: