If you are looking for a wonderful way to build up your math center, then you should check out SumBlox!
SumBlox is a unique set of number-shaped blocks that promotes different kinds of math concepts through hands-on play and exploration. One of the very first things my students did as soon as they found them on the math table was to see how tall the numbers could be stacked. Right out of the box the children were exploring a process that promotes math vocabulary and concepts such as height, balance, number recognition, and measurement!
I didn’t do any formal introduction to our set of SumBlox. I simply set them out for the children to explore along with a set of cards that came with the set. My students loved looking over the cards and exploring the possible ways they could build with the blocks.
As the children continued to explore the cards and SumBlox, they were constantly saying things like, “I need another number eight” or…
“This four is supposed to go upside down.” The conversations about numbers, building, and positioning went on and on.
SumBlox are well made, solid, and will last (in my opinion) a lifetime. I think they would not only make a wonderful addition to our math center but be a fun addition to our block center too.
There is lots of room to explore SumBlox beyond what my students did in these photos. As you can see, the blocks are different sizes and this is on purpose (and very clever I might add). If you stack up two number 5 blocks and set them next to the number 10 block you would see that the two number 5 blocks equal the height of the number 10 block. David Skaggs of SumBlox explains:
“I am obsessed with combining numbers to create 10, something that helps break down problems quickly. After examining these aspects I realized that the skills involved in simplifying problems were all based on stacking numbers and understanding how they relate to each other. Taking these concepts and applying them to a stacking game seemed to fit building blocks extremely well.”
Both my boys and girls took an interest in exploring with SumBlox all throughout the morning. I started to show the children a few other ideas for exploration but they were not interested in my ideas so I got out of the way and let the children explore the cards and SumBlox in their own way. I have to say – their way was just perfect.
Disclosure: SumBlox sent one set to my classroom for my students to explore and everything I have written in this post is from my own observations and of my own opinion – I love them!
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