Use wooden blocks to build number sense! Looking for a way to incorporate open-ended and fun activities while also building your students’ number sense? Solution found!
I want to introduce you to SumBlox! I had actually heard about this company about 3+ years ago. A parent had mentioned seeing these at a conference and said how much she loved them. At the time, they were still in development, so when I looked them up, they were not available for purchase yet. As usual, I filed that away in the junk drawer of my mind (OY), and forgot about them. THEN… when I was in Santa Clara for a conference, I saw them!!! ZING! I remembered how excited I was about them and started up a conversation with the fine people at their booth.
So… do I like them? YES!!! Oh my goodness! YES!!!
I brought these blocks to a classroom I am working with and they fell in love (so did I).
How can you use them?
So many ways:
- Numeral recognition
- Composing and decomposing numbers
- Number sense (place numerals in order ascending and descending)
- Making 10
- [For the Big Kids] fractions, multiplication, division
On this day, I just let the students explore the shapes. It did not take long for them to make a few discoveries!
This set is a perfect for a single classroom.
I love the activity guide. It is filled with some great ideas!
But what if they just played with them?
Wouldn’t that be fantastic? I know we, as kindergarten teachers, mourn the days where students just played. But who ever said that play could not incorporate learning too? For some students, they will be just building towers to see how they can make them balance. Other students will be working on math skills. This is a perfect differentiated center. You could sketch out task cards to go with these blocks (ie. Build the number 7 in as many ways as you can. Start with the number 5 and count on to 10…) The possibilities are endless!
What are the experts saying?
“This is one of the best products I have ever seen to help young children learn about numbers and basic arithmetic.”
Professor Keith J. Devlin – Stanford Mathematician,
Popular Science Writer, author & NPR “Math Guy”
Check out SumBlox by clicking on the image below!