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Convince Me – Arc Length: TES Maths Resource of the Week

To see all of the work I do for TES Maths, including Resource of the Week, Inspect the Spec, Pedagogy Place, Maths Newsletters and Topic Collections, please visit the TES Maths Blog here

What is it?
A blast from the past year. For many years I was obsessed with Tarsia Jigsaws. In fact, rarely would a week, or even a day, pass without me reaching for the scissors and glue. However, after a while I became concerned that students were not learning as much as they could. Too much time was taken up cutting and sticking – time that could have been spent learning. So, I tweaked my use of Tarsia by introducing “Tarsia Convince Me”, and I’m delighted to see a wonderful example here on arc length and converting units of measurement. Here, students are presented with a completed jigsaw but are challenged to find the 5 incorrect answers and explain why, and also solve 3 problems that do not have an answer. This cuts out all the faffing about with scissors and glue, and instead gets to the heart of the matter. Students have to think hard, and it is that hard thinking that is the most likely to lead to learning.

How can it be used?
The first thing to say is that students need to be familiar with how Tarsia Jigsaws work in order to understand how to complete this activity. A quick demo should suffice to get them up and running. And then they are away! This activity lends itself pretty well to paired work as it provokes some great discussion, especially (as is the case here) if the wrong answers have been carefully chosen to address some common misconceptions. Once students have completed this, there is always the option to have them hop onto a computer and use the free Tarsia software to create their own Convince Me activity. This is great to do for revision in the build up to an exam. Students can take a topic each, and before you know it you have a set of top-quality revision resources that the whole class can benefit from.

Thanks so much for sharing
Craig Barton

Download: Convince Me – Arc Length
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