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Mathlink Cubes


Paige
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I have a set of 1000 mathlink cubes (learning resources) that I have no idea what to do with. I picked them up years ago because they were free but my kids were a little old for them and they sat in a closet. Now I have DS(3) and pulled them out for him and I'm sure there must be more to this. I looked online- ideas to sort by color, shape, etc...boring. I'm used to C-rods and they make more sense to me. Right now I'm making 100 flats of each color to see how many pieces may have fallen out of the bag and it seems maybe we could use them stacked in rows on top of each other to show subtraction or missing pieces. Other than that I don't know. They are kind of fun as blocks or weird legos, but I feel I should do more since I have 1000 of them!

Does anyone have any more fun or useful ways they've used them or want to chime in on how much fun you found them? 

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We have a set of 300 also free from my teaching days.

Honestly, they are not my favorite math manipulative.  As far as math goes, for one of mine, snap blocks seemed to be the only way she grasped subtraction.  Something about physically snapping off the blocks worked better than anything I tried with the C-rods or any other manipulative.  For the preschool/kinder set we use them in place of counters.  My kids use C-rods, too, but there's some satisfaction of snapping together the blocks to make 5.  Also, with chunky hands, the chunky blocks work better than chips on things like 10 frames or as board game counters.  Also they are GREAT for modeling bar graphs for the pre-k/k/1 set.

The game "Bump!" is popular around her for mastering math facts, and the snap cubes are perfect Bump! game pieces.

But honestly, they are used most as building blocks.  If you google "Snap Block Centers" you can find lots of pre-made pictures to match/build.  I keep a rotating set in the schoolroom for my 3 and 4 yo.  My 3 yo can't reliably make the pictures yet, but my 4 yo has a great time "doing school" and figuring out how to use the blocks to build the image.  If I'm available, I can extend it by helping him count the blocks he used and sorting them by color/graphing greatest and least or any other sort of mathy thing.  But mostly it's a pattern matching exercise that keeps him busy when he wants to be with us in the school room but is having a difficult time not being distracting. I also think it's a good fine motor exercise for him, since he's a kid that doesn't love coloring/drawing.

If I think about it, the snap cubes probably get used daily in my school room, but only occasionally as actual math manipulatives.

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5 hours ago, medawyn said:

We have a set of 300 also free from my teaching days.

Honestly, they are not my favorite math manipulative.  As far as math goes, for one of mine, snap blocks seemed to be the only way she grasped subtraction.  Something about physically snapping off the blocks worked better than anything I tried with the C-rods or any other manipulative.  For the preschool/kinder set we use them in place of counters.  My kids use C-rods, too, but there's some satisfaction of snapping together the blocks to make 5.  Also, with chunky hands, the chunky blocks work better than chips on things like 10 frames or as board game counters.  Also they are GREAT for modeling bar graphs for the pre-k/k/1 set.

The game "Bump!" is popular around her for mastering math facts, and the snap cubes are perfect Bump! game pieces.

But honestly, they are used most as building blocks.  If you google "Snap Block Centers" you can find lots of pre-made pictures to match/build.  I keep a rotating set in the schoolroom for my 3 and 4 yo.  My 3 yo can't reliably make the pictures yet, but my 4 yo has a great time "doing school" and figuring out how to use the blocks to build the image.  If I'm available, I can extend it by helping him count the blocks he used and sorting them by color/graphing greatest and least or any other sort of mathy thing.  But mostly it's a pattern matching exercise that keeps him busy when he wants to be with us in the school room but is having a difficult time not being distracting. I also think it's a good fine motor exercise for him, since he's a kid that doesn't love coloring/drawing.

If I think about it, the snap cubes probably get used daily in my school room, but only occasionally as actual math manipulatives.

Thanks for the ideas. I'll google the centers. I hadn't considered how good they may be for hand strength and motor skills. DS really likes snapping them together and pulling them apart. They take more effort than preschool legos and I'm not setting him loose with the regular legos yet!

 

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