Tangram TeasersTask 79 ... Years 2  8SummaryThe 7piece tangram is a well known shape puzzle with a long and distinguished history. The challenges in this task are only some of the many hundreds that have been developed over the centuries. None of them are necessarily straightforward and the rocket, in particular, has been known to challenge the spatial ability of teachers as well as students.
This cameo has a two From The Classroom contributions. Stimulated by a superb example of quilting, one uses a limited number of tangram shapes cut from coloured paper squares to create fabulous designs. But it's not a free for all. It's an investigation which comes about by limiting what can be done. The second contribution records a discussion between a student and a mentor about finding a solution to one of the puzzles. 
Materials
Content

IcebergA task is the tip of a learning iceberg. There is always more to a task than is recorded on the card. 
No solutions are provided for this task. The idea is that as students use the task, the class will build up a set of solutions. As shown in From The Classroom below, it may take some effort to find some of the solutions.

Whole Class InvestigationTasks are an invitation for two students to work like a mathematician. Tasks can also be modified to become whole class investigations which model how a mathematician works. 
You will need at least one tangram set between two to run the whole class investigation, but you don't necessarily have to buy them. Make the square with the task pieces. This will show you how the 7piece is designed. Recreate this in a computer drawing program and print multiple copies on card. Students can cut them out and pack them into envelopes as a class set. The investigation(s) you choose can be guided by any of the directions suggested above. At this stage, Tangram Teasers does not have a matching lesson on Maths300. 
Is it in Maths With Attitude?Maths With Attitude is a set of handson learning kits available from Years 310 which structure the use of tasks and whole class investigations into a week by week planner. 
The Tangram Teasers task is an integral part of:

St. John's Uniting ChurchCowesAustralia 
Not so much a From The Classroom contribution as a For The Classroom contribution. This superb example of quilting, photographed at St. John's, was created by Esther Gassmann. Click the image to reveal and save a higher resolution version if required.

Editor's Notes:
... We would love to publish photos of student designs and examples of their questions.
... There are connections between this From The Classroom and the contributions in Task 96, Networks, Task 168, Mirror Patterns 3 and Maths300 Lesson 73, Halving Squares.
Tasmanian Primary SchoolRuth CourtUpper Primary 
An email message received at the Task Centre office read:
To dear Mr Williams, 
Dear Jessy, Thank you for writing to me. I don't have a lot of time to answer a million letters from children, but today you were the only one. Phew! Now that was one tough puzzle you sent me. I have been struggling with it for about half an hour. But at last I can tell you it is NOT impossible. Do you want to keep trying or do you need a clue? Say hello to Mrs. Court for me. Keep smiling, Mr. Williams 

Dear mr Williams Thankyou for writting back please can i have a clue. From Jessy 

Hi Jessy, The first clue is that when a mathematician finds that one strategy doesn't work, she simply tries a different strategy. When I looked at the picture my first strategy was that the biggest triangle should be the bottom piece and the straight side of the rocket should come up from there. But I was wrong! The biggest triangle is not in the base at all! Keep smiling, Mr. Williams 

Dear Mr Williams Thanks for the clue. I can't look at it today because I have to go away for my holidays but I will try again when school comes back. I thought I had tried EVERYTHING!! From Jessy 

Dear Jessy, Why don't you ask Mrs. Court if you can take the Tangram Teasers task home with you on holiday. Keep smiling, Mr. Williams 