4 Ways Teachers Can Enhance Learning with Digital Puzzles

By Manuela Marques Tchoe

It’s no secret that puzzles are amazing tools to help students of all ages to develop logical thinking, improve memory and boost problem-solving skills. By matching the right pieces together, the brain creates new neural connections not only because playing puzzles is challenging – but also because it’s so much fun!

The pandemic has accelerated the need for tailored schooling, whereby teachers make use of different strategies to address specific child needs. That means education needs to move away from a one-size-fits-all approach, leveraging digital tools to enhance independent learning.

A tool that has been widely used during school closures has been digital jigsaw puzzles to keep pupils interested in new subjects, reinforce learning and develop concentration. The team at I’m a Puzzle has experienced a massive increase in its puzzles used in education during the pandemic, with fantastic results.

Example of puzzle shared by a teacher at I’m a Puzzle

Now that students are finally going back to school in most countries, it’s time for teachers to combine online tools with the physical classroom. With or without a pandemic, digital learning is here to stay! 

But how can teachers add digital puzzles to everyday lessons, you may ask?

Let’s dive deeper with I’m a Puzzle and unlock some educational fun with online jigsaw puzzles. 

Help children ace mathematical equations

Learning how to add, subtract, multiply and divide is not always straightforward for primary school kids. Creating a fun element to develop a math-competent brain is a great strategy to help students learn basic equations – without the torture of endless sheets. 

You can make math equations even more appealing with competitions, where groups compete against each other and/or kids have to solve the puzzle at a predetermined timeframe. The important thing is to make it fun and engaging! 

Math puzzle

This is how you can create and share math puzzles with your pupils:

Step 1: Choose a picture from our gallery or click at My Pictures a picture of yours.

Step 2: Select the game mode Math

There, you can select the grade of difficulty from easy to very hard for the math expressions. The ‘easy’ version will feature addition equations from 0 up to 10, while the ‘hard’ version will offer addition, subtraction, multiplication and division expressions up to 1000. If you feel like customizing the math questions, you can also do it by selection Custom!

Configure the math expression options
In the Math mode you can customize the math equations level

Step 3: Select the game difficulty

Step 4: Press the Share button

Step 5: Give a title to your puzzle and press Create Puzzle.

Tip: If you select the Pro Options your students will need to enter their name before starting the game and you will be able to see who got which question right. The pro puzzle is free for teachers.

Increase interest in geographical knowledge

Introducing continents, countries, and cultures is a great way to awake interest in the subject of geography – and also as a way to discuss what’s beyond our borders. With digital puzzles, this is easily done by uploading any visual material such as maps, images of countries and cities, and more, to the I’m a Puzzle platform. 

Combine the puzzle with a quiz or a group conversation, and voilà: you have the perfect starting point to introduce a new topic in your classroom. 

Here’s an example of how to upload a world map image to I’m a Puzzle:

Step 1: Choose a picture from our gallery or upload one

Step 2: Select the game mode, including classic jigsaw puzzle and other formats such as hearts or honeycomb. 

Step 3: Select the game difficulty

Step 4: Press the Share button

Step 5: Give a title to your puzzle and press Create Puzzle.

Explore biology and sciences

Sharing a puzzle to start a conversation with students can be applied to many subjects! Have you thought to introduce the topic of the human body or solar system with a puzzle? You can explore where to find the stomach as well as Saturn – and let your students find the answers themselves. And the best part: possibilities are endless!

Example of science quiz puzzle

In addition to uploading an image for the students to find out the right constellation of pieces, you can integrate a quiz into the activity as well.

Here’s how you could initiate a conversation about the solar system without getting lost in space:

Step 1: Choose a picture from our gallery or upload one

Step 2: When selecting the game mode, pick ‘Quiz’

Step 3: Add questions that will be used to unlock the puzzle pieces. For example: ‘What’s the closest planet to the Sun?’. In the quiz interface, you can add the correct answer and 4 incorrect answers to form a multichoice question.  

Step 4: Select the game difficulty

Step 5: Press the Share button

Step 6: Give a title to your puzzle and press Create Puzzle.

Pro tip: the more pieces you add, the more questions you should create for the quiz! 

Competitions, quizzes & teamwork 

Not every lesson needs to be about specific themes or subjects. Rather, teachers can appeal to puzzles to develop logical thinking and teamwork. How? I already mentioned before that using puzzles in competitions is a great way to get kids excited and, more importantly, to work as a team! 

Quizzes are a great way of putting minds together to find the right answer. You can work with any topic via a quiz, with the difficulty range that applies to your classroom. 

All you have to do is to get a group of 2-3 students together. Assign the same puzzle link to each team and give them a predetermined timeframe – or let them solve the puzzle at their own pace. Whoever has finished first is the winner!

Teachers have access to an array of methods and activities to keep students focused even if they’re far away. Digital puzzles are a great, versatile way to get everyone thinking, enable teamwork and simply make education more enjoyable. With I’m a Puzzle, educators have a range of options that are also completely free of charge, which makes sharing puzzles even more fun – for everyone!

For any questions, get in touch with our team using the form below.  

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