Math IS Real Life: March 2017 Edition – jigsaw puzzles

It’s the first Wednesday of March which means it’s time for our monthly linky – Math IS Real Life!! If you want to see how the linky works, or just want other real world math ideas, check out our Pinterest Board of all the posts so that you can look back and find some great ideas and REAL pictures to use in your classroom!

If you are linking up, please include the below picture to link back to this blog post


 A monthly REAL WORLD math blog link-up hosted by MissMathDork,


For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved putting together jigsaw puzzles.  I have very fond memories of setting up a card table at my grandmother’s house and spending the afternoon, or weekend, mindlessly putting together puzzles.  In all honesty, I think it’s a lost art that should be brought back to this generation.  Spatial reasoning is a HUGE part of daily life.  Many of my friends joke that I am able to “tetris” assortments of boxes and bags into cars to efficiently fit everything in.  I truly think it’s because I spent so much of my time growing up putting together puzzles.

Recently, I was given an Amazon gift card for my birthday and I very randomly decided to buy a puzzle mat.  I had just been to Tuesday morning with my MIL the weekend before and found a 2000 piece XL puzzle for $5 and I couldn’t leave it behind.  The problem that I have with puzzles, though, is 2-fold.  I don’t have time to sit down and put them together beginning to end like I used to, and there isn’t enough room to keep them set up indefinitely.  Enter the puzzle mat….  YES it DOES work!  I couldn’t believe it!  The puzzle mat (I bought the HUGE one!) rolls out and you put your puzzle together like you normally would.  BUT if you need to stop and use the table, you can roll it up, securely, and none of the pieces fall out.  Ah-may-zing!

So now, I have been chain putting together puzzles –  they help me relax and unwind at night…. and if I need the space, I just roll up the mat and VOILA, I have a table.

Okay, math… right, sorry!  Spatial reasoning!  I CANNOT STRESS THE IMPORTANCE OF SPATIAL REASONING ENOUGH!  So many students do NOT have this skill.  Jigsaw puzzles are also great for indirect mathematical traits – perseverance and patience!

And, if you get really lucky…. you find a 2000XL puzzle made completely of numbers 😉

Puzzles — do you love them or hate them?  I LOVE them…. my sister HATES them (I learned this the hard way one Christmas when I brought puzzles to my niece and nephew! oops!)


  Don’t forget to check out the other MIRL posts below!  Check back over the next few days – more will be added!!

Categories: #mirl, geometry and measurement, and math is real life.

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