Welcome to > tarisia jigsaw files

If you click on the links below you can download all my tarsia jigsaw files in one go (there are currently about 800!)

The jigsaw bundle will be constantly updated as kind people contribute more jigsaws, so keep checking back to make sure you don't miss out!

Latest Update: 13/08/12 - The complete, updated Gill Hillitt Collection! Amazing stuff.

What is it?
Tarsia is a piece of freely available software which allows teachers to create a wide range of jigsaws, domino and follow-me activities very easily.

How can I get the software?

The software is available to download from via this link
Scroll down to the bottom of the page for “Formulator Tarsia Installation Package”

The download software also includes a comprehensive user-guide.

Screen shots and instructions are available via this link

How can teachers use it?

The advantages of this software are:
You can easily create wide range of activities, including jigsaws of various shapes and sizes, dominoes, matching rectangular cards and follow-me cards.
The teacher does not need to spend time cutting up the jigsaw as the software automatically jumbles up the pieces of the jigsaw in the Output section, thus allowing the teacher to simply print out a copy and hand it to the students to cut out and assemble

Having selected what type of activity they wish to create, teachers use the Input screen to input as many questions and answers as they like. The software has a built-in equation editor to ensure that all mathematical symbols and expressions are available, and supports the importing of images. Teachers can then check their answers on the Table screen, before printing out the jumbled up version for the students. They can then either print out the solution or project it onto their interactive whiteboard for the students to check their answers. Completed jigsaws also make nice classroom displays.

Tarsia Jigsaw activities are incredibly versatile, and can be used for many mathematical topics and all ability levels. They promote group work and discussion, and provide a nice alternative to doing questions out of a textbook. They are an ideal way to revise or consolidate a topic. Furthermore, they can be differentiated – by writing questions of varying difficulty, you can ensure that all students can access some of the activity whilst also providing extension material for the most able.

Possible Twists?
With a bit of tweaking, Tarsia puzzles can be made even more challenging, pushing your students to think even more about the topic in hand. Ideas include:

Missing Answers – choose a couple of the cards and leave the answer (or even the question!) blank so students have to fill them in for themselves

Deliberate Mistakes – announce at the start of the activity that you have made two mistakes in the puzzle and students must identify them and correct them

Non-unique Solutions – have a couple of the answers the same, so students have to use logic and thinking skills to assemble the entire puzzle correctly

Order of Difficulty – when students have finished the puzzle, get them to select the three most difficult pieces to match-up and explain what makes them tricky

Revision Lessons – get students to create Tarsia puzzles themselves on difficult topics (it is a free piece of software so can be installed on all school computers) and challenge each other to solve them

Worksheet – One criticsm of Tarsia is that once the students have completed the puzzle they have no record/evidence of their work and also no revision material. Gill Hillitt has a solution... simply print out the "Table" page and blank out the answers. Hand this out to the students alongside the jigsaw and they can fill in their answers here as they go. When the jigsaw has been completed, they then have a lovely record of their work. Nice.
Top Tip: To blank out answers, delete them on the input screen, but add a space (press the space-bar), otherwise you may find the answer returns!

Handling images in Tarsia and sharing them
Good news – you can insert images into Tarsia. Bad news - Tarsia does not insert an image instead it inserts a link to the absolute address of the image. This means that if the images are then moved the jigsaw will lose contact and you will end up with those annoying red rectangles.

This is fine if you are creating a jigsaw to be shared on a network, so long as you first put all the images you want to use where they can be accessed by everyone you want to share with. However, if you wish to simply copy a jigsaw which contains images, then not only do the images need to be copied to where they will be accessible but also all the links will need to be changed! Alas, I have found no way of getting around this.
You can find more details on adding images to Tarsia courtesy of Alan Catley by clicking here.

However, there is an alternative! Once you have placed the images in your Tarsia, you can convert Output page(s) into a pdf. This will then retain all your images, enabling you to share the file much more easily. The downside is that you won't be able to edit the Tarisa as it will be locked in the pdf, but this might be an ideal solution to get round the image issue. A nice, free pdf converter is PrimoPdf.

Technical Details:

After you click on the links below, all the jigsaw files will arrive in a zipped folder. This is annoying, but is easily resolved. So long as your computer has Windows XP (or Vista), when you save and then open the folder you should get an option of the left of the window that says "extract all files".
Click on this and your files will be good to go!

Also, there may well be the odd error that sneaks into these jigsaws. If you spot one, please let me know. But also, why not turn the errors into a greater challenge for the students! I love a "deliberate" mistake...





Core 1 and Core 2

Core 3 and Core 4

Applied and Further Maths

Alan Catley's Tarsias

Gill Hillitt's Tarsias

Laura Rees-Hughes' Tarsias

These jigsaw files are proving immensely popular and extremely useful, so if you have any of your own jigsaw files which you would like to share, then please let me know here. The more the merrier! Thank you...

Many thanks to the following people for kindly donating their jigsaws to the bundle:
    Peter Brooks, Plant Hill Arts College, Manchester
    Judith de Villiers, Folkestone Academy, Kent
    Steve Wren, Comberton Village College, Cambridge
    Nisha Ganatra, Lea Manor High School, Luton
    Samantha Green, The Cheltenham Ladies College, Cheltenham
    Susan Verity
    John White, Secondary Maths Consultant, Swindon
    Karen Walker, Poltair School, St. Austell
    Jenny Andrews, Richard Hale School, Hertford
    Sam Powell, Sheldon Heath Community Arts College, Birmingham
    Nyima Drayang, Seaham School of Technology
    William Leonard, Bullerswood, Bromley
    Vikki Sutton, Holmesdale Technology College
    Paul Tyreman
    James Gatrell, St John Plessington Catholic College
    Kevin Alderson, Newcastle College
    Gill Hillitt, Joseph Chamberlain College, Birmingham
    Sarah Pearson, Taipei Eurpoean School

    Simon Young, Erith School
    Steve Sherman and Pupils, Tytherington High School
Alan Catley


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