Sum Blox Maths
These awesome bricks are Sum Blox. They were a big investment piece but it was instantly obvious how they would benefit a visual learner like Toby. I expect we will sell them at the end to recoup much of the cost.
We haven't had Sum Blox long but both children spent time just playing and exploring them first. Rosie built a tower made of tens. Toby ordered them first to show relative size - each Sum Blox is just one unit higher. You get ten x 1 too, so that you can can demonstrate the units. We did this, and also did several number bonds e.g. making 9 and 10.
The bricks come with idea cards but we also got idea books for subtraction, addition, fractions and multiplication. I'm glad we have those.
We use the bricks currently mainly for addition, subtraction and number bonds. My only concern is that the bricks make sums so simple that they are now too easy. However I'm hoping the visual images of relative size imprint on Toby's memory so that he can visualise the relative sizes. We do still use bricks, penguins on ice, number lines and fingers!
The crazy part of Toby is that he can do maths easily without help using Sum Blocks. He can use his hand to check the level. However if you ask him if it's level or correct, Toby doesn't understand / respond appropriately to the question. He will almost certainly answer 'no'. This is an issue with everything - not just this task.
So Sum Blox are a really concrete way to show Toby that 'yes' is an option and why 'yes' is the correct answer because its easy to see why it is 'yes' or 'no'. That is one side effect that I didn't expect. First published on 29.4.2021