One screen, two learners, concrete materials and a challenge.


Learn About Picture Puzzles

Mathematics Centre exists to:

  • encourage debate about teaching craft that fascinates, captivates and absorbs students in the process of learning to work like a mathematician.
  • provide unique resources supporting teachers to build Working Mathematically classrooms.

Picture Puzzles are a Mathematics Centre resource designed to improve learning with screens (phones, pads, tablets, computers). Established best practice teaching is integrated with the motivation provided by technology. Two learners work from the same screen using concrete materials placed between them and the screen, on which an unfolding sequence of challenges is displayed.

One screen, two learners, concrete material and a challenge.

Picture Puzzles are PDF slide show files. Users are in total control of the pace of the display and are able to move backwards and forwards through the slides to review data and check hypotheses.

Teachers in Sweden and Australia learning about Picture Puzzles.

Teaching Craft

One learner cannot have a mathematical conversation with a screen. Two learners can have a mathematical conversation about a screen. Picture Puzzles generate that conversation through supported achievable challenges that involve learners using their hands off the screen.

Features likely to encourage learning include:

  • Context - working like a mathematician
  • Use of technology to deliver challenges
  • Visual learning - more pictures than words
  • Kinaesthetic learning - concrete materials dependent
  • Mathematical conversation - peer support
  • Supporting thinking and discussion - move backwards and forwards through screens at will
  • Recording mathematics - student access to a journal (which may be electronic) is assumed
  • Student ownership - choice from a menu
  • Concept focus - mathematics is presented as concrete, visual and making sense
  • Easy to start
  • Multiple exit points
  • Differentiation for ability and experience
  • Inclusive
  • Non-threatening
  • Skill development in context
Each Picture Puzzle can also be used to stimulate a whole class investigation which models Working Mathematically.
  • Read Madonna Pianegonda's article using a Picture Puzzle this way.
  • Try Picture Puzzles from the Free Tour.

Picture Puzzles are a resource (just like a box a box of blocks), but the library of Picture Puzzles grows over time so teachers/schools purchase an access code which allows them to download the current stock and return when new puzzles are added.


  • Purchase once only for permanent access to current and future puzzles; no annual subscription.
  • Calculating Changes members receive a significant discount.
  • Teachers/schools download files and make them available to students from their local server.
  • Students do not access the Picture Puzzles site.
  • Picture Puzzles open on all computing devices.
  • All Picture Puzzles require concrete materials listed by menu in Teaching Notes
  • An overview of materials for all menus is in Equipment List.
  • Another resource built around learning from menus is Menu Maths Packs.
  • Questions? or contact us.
At the bottom of key pages you will find navigation triangles like those below.

Picture Puzzles Home      Learn About Picture Puzzles      Picture Puzzles Free Tour      Picture Puzzles Menus      Purchase Picture Puzzles      Teaching Notes      Equipment List      Picture Puzzles Members      Mathematics Centre Home