Friday, February 2, 2018

BUILDING MATH SKILLS WITH BLOCKS

If I could have two things in my classroom I would choose books and blocks.  I almost weep when teacher say, "My administrator made me get rid of my blocks."  Blocks are wonderful for open-ended activities, but they can also be a springboard for developing math concepts.

Sorting – Can they sort like blocks together? Can they regroup the blocks by another attribute?

Numerical Order – Write numerals 0-10 on 2 ½” x 5” pieces of paper and attach to blocks. Can they put the blocks in order?

Sets and Numerals – Write numerals, number words, and sets on blocks for children to match.

Roll and Stack – Children take one or two dice and roll. They select that number of blocks and stack them as tall as they can.

Counting – How many blocks can you stack?

Math Signs – Write inequality signs, =, +, and – on pieces of paper and attach to blocks. Children can build equations and practice addition and subtraction with the numeral blocks and signs.

Liquid Measurement – Write “cup” on two square blocks. Write “pint” on a rectangular block. How many cups in a pint?

Fractions – What would happen if you cut the square block in half? What would happen if you cut the rectangular block in half? How many ways can you make the square block? Rectangular block?

Measure Up – Children lay on the floor as friends take unit blocks and measure how many blocks long they are. Use different size blocks and compare.

Graphing – Have children draw their faces on 2 ½”” squares. Tape to blocks. Use for comparing and graphing.
For example: You could have a picture of a bus, feet, and a car. Children place their block under the way they travel to school. Which one is more? Less? How can we tell for sure?

Block Book – Cut small shapes out of construction paper to represent the different unit blocks. Glue these to a file folder to make structures similar to the ones shown. Hole punch to create a book. Children look at the drawings and then try to duplicate them with blocks.