Have you ever been stuck with engaging children with maths?

Have you tried some of our Mathematics activities?

We have a heap of ideas that will enrich learning of measuring, graphing, perimeter, area, volume, pattern and probability. All using our 2cm Linking Cubes!

First, allow the children to engage in free play with the linking cubes. Then gradually introduce various fun activities. Suggest that they make towers. Challenge them to build a tower as big as themselves. Can they make a person, a dog, or a camel? Help them form patterns with different colours. Familiarity with the blocks will help activities go smoother and hopefully reduce the fear of numbers that sometimes develops with traditional maths classes.

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Measuring and graphing: 

1. Join everyone’s towers so that each group has created a giant tower. Add lots of ten blocks so that the tower is tall enough to easily measure the height of each child.

2. While the children are putting their towers together, assign each group a letter (Group A, B, etc) and write the letter on the board.

3. Move around the groups explaining that the blocks are to be used to measure everyone's height. One child should stand still while another determines the length of the tower that represents the first child’s height. A third child can count the blocks. Make sure it is pointed out that counting the blocks in lots of ten makes it easier - part of the concept behind measurement is convenience and simplification.

Perimeter, Area and Volume:

 1. The difference between length, perimeter, area and volume can be simply demonstrated using linking cubes. Ask the children to predict how many blocks can be laid end-to-end along one of the long sides of a sheet of paper. Then ask them to try it, recording their results.

2. Continue the blocks around the edge of the paper to demonstrate perimeter.

3. Area can be determined by covering the sheet with blocks. In this way simple area calculations for squares and rectangles can be made using “number of blocks” as a unit of measurement. It can be pointed out that the number of blocks along the length of the sheet multiplied by the number along the width will equal the total number of blocks. The students should verify this fact by counting the blocks as well as trying the same exercise with different squares and rectangles.

Patterns:

1. Ask the children to form pairs.

2. Let each pair take 10 blocks - 5 of one colour and 5 of another.

3. Ask one child to make a pattern with four blocks.

4. Ask that child to memorise the pattern and hide the tower behind his or her back.

5. Now ask that child to give the other student instructions on how to build the pattern without looking at the blocks.

6. What happens if the original pattern is 5 blocks long?

7. As an extension, ask the child to write the instructions down.

Propability:

1. Put 15 linking cubes into a bag that is not see-through. Use 5 blocks of 1 colour and 10 of another. Mix them up thoroughly. Don’t let the children see you put the blocks into the bag, but tell them that you put 5 of 1 colour and 10 of another. Don’t tell them which colour is more common.

2. Pull 3 blocks out one at a time, join them and show the class.

3. Tell the children that there are 12 blocks left and ask them to predict how many of each colour are left. Remind them that if they add their predictions together they must equal 12. Ask them to record their predictions.

4. Pull out another 3 blocks and join them to the original 3. Count how many of the 6 are one colour, and how many are the other. Tell them that there are now 9 blocks left and, again, ask them to record how many they think are left of each colour.

5. Continue until all the blocks have been taken out of the bag.

• Point out that the laws of probability tell us that the blocks we pull out of the bag give an indication of what colours remain in. As we pull out more blocks, our predictions should get more accurate.