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; they use concrete materials placed between them and a screen on which an unfolding sequence of challenges is displayed slide by slide.

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
Also each Picture Puzzle can be used to stimulate a whole class investigation which models Working Mathematically.
  • Read Madonna Pianegonda's article using a Picture Puzzle this way in Year 6.
  • Read about this Year 7 class at Falkbergsskolan using a Picture Puzzle this way.
  • Try Picture Puzzles from the Free Tour.

The Picture Puzzles library currently contains 35+ puzzles. More can be added over time. Puzzles are organised into content-based menus to encourage student choice. There are 5 or 6 puzzles in each menu. Teachers/schools:

  • Purchase the puzzles menu by menu, perhaps to include a new stimulus in a unit of work, or,
  • Purchase an access code which allows download of all current and future Picture Puzzles.


  • Purchase menu by menu as funding allows at a fixed price per menu.
  • Purchase once only at a discount price for permanent access to current and future puzzles; no annual subscription.
  • Calculating Changes members receive a further significant discount on the permanent access price.
  • Teachers/schools download files and make them available to students from their local server.
  • Picture Puzzles open on all computing devices with PDF software.
  • All Picture Puzzles require concrete materials which you supply.
  • Concrete materials are listed by menu in Teaching Notes.
  • The Equipment List is an overview of materials for all menus.
  • The complete set of Teaching Notes is available to all purchasers.
  • Students do not access the Picture Puzzles site.
  • 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