Rectangular Prism Puzzle

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The Maker of the “Rectangular Prism Puzzle” was inspired by a debate among her students over whether or not the parts of a whole could be represented in different ways. She created a manipulative that would “demonstrate [that] portions of a whole can be more complex than a piece of a pizza pie or a plot of land [and would simultaneously] introduce 3-dimensional ‘whole’ pieces to expand their understanding of what fractions can look like.” In addition, the Maker wanted to incorporate the excitement of solving a puzzle into the student’s interaction with the tool. The rectangular prism is made up of 9 pieces, all with equal volume, of which there are seven variations. The Maker suggests using it as an exploratory object for students, allowing them to arrive at their own understandings of the relationship between parts of a whole while experiencing the joy of puzzle-solving.