Tried & Tested: MathLink Cubes Numberblocks 1-10 Activity Set

Tried & Tested: MathLink Cubes Numberblocks 1-10 Activity Set
Reading Time: 5 minutes

MathLink Cubes are the colourful, linkable, stackable cubes that are ideal for supporting students in Key Stage 1 maths learning. These colourful cubes are great for a range of hands-on maths activities. Teachers use them to help students with counting, sorting and patterning, addition and subtraction, number bonds, and early multiplication. They are also an ideal hands-on resource for students to visualise and solve simple maths problems. When maths lessons end, MathLink Cubes double as fun building toys.

Learning Resources has developed a special edition MathLink® Cubes Numberblocks 1-10 Activity Set. This set has all children need to use special edition MathLink Cubes to build the Numberblocks One to Ten in all the ways seen in the episodes. The set comes with Character Cards featuring quick and easy maths activities and write-and-wipe Activity Cards which feature 30 activities that closely follow several episodes from Series 1-3.

Tried & Tested: MathLink® Cubes Numberblocks 1-10 Activity Set

Tester: Joanne Moore, class teacher and maths lead at Snettisham Primary, in a class of 15.

What did you think of the concept of Numberblocks Set?
Really, really love it!! We love Numberblocks in my class and the episodes are very effective to use as part of our mathematics teaching in the early years. The children relate so well to the characters and I have found it has really supported their understanding of number to a deeper level more than any resources I have ever used in the past. So now having this set means the children now also have the concrete materials to build, manipulate and play around with the numbers to support their learning.

How did you use this product within your classroom?
All of the above. We used them for whole class teaching to demonstrate, we used them as a group to build the numbers, make a number line and I also then challenged the children to show me the numbers 11-20. Leaving them out for child-initiated learning I found the children were building the numbers and then role-playing with them like the story telling in the episodes.

What ideas do you have for other ways to use this product for learning?
We used the Numberblocks to make a number line. Children had to make the Numberblocks, find the numeral card and also find the Numicon piece to match. This enabled them to see the number in three different ways.

How has the resource supported learning in your classroom?
The children love the Numberblocks series on CBeebies and I use this and the NCETM planning guidance to form lots of our daily sessions. Now having the Numberblocks set means that the children can also physically build the numbers and use them as part of our maths activities.

They really relate to the characters and numbers which helps to concrete their understanding of the numbers and also to a deeper level. In our school we follow a mastery approach to mathematics so having the concrete resources is very important to our children’s learning. Using this set can support all of the five counting principles which are essential for children to develop in the early years. (Note: Click here to access the NCETM Numberblocks Support Material.)

Is the product innovative?
Yes, there is not another product like this out there. I have been wanting a set like this for so long! The children can build the numbers but also manipulate them changing their number shapes (not just a straight line/tower of cubes) which helps to concrete even more the idea that amounts of the same number can look different but still have the same number.

Please give some examples of where the product has positively affected an individual or the school?
I have a little girl that is a reluctant talker. She is very shy and often finds it difficult to hold attention to activities, but she absolutely loves Numberblocks! When I showed her this set, she was so excited and she spend so much time focusing on building all the numbers, talking to me about what she was doing with the numbers and then she role played with the numbers like in the episodes and I’ve never heard her talk so much!

Does the resource support the work of the teacher?
Yes it helps when showing different mathematical concepts in the classroom and also to support children alongside their maths activities. Leaving these out in the classroom as part of the continuous provision also provides mathematical play opportunities and different levels of challenge.

What would you say are the greatest benefits of the product, both to you as the teacher and to your students?
The children love Numberblocks, so this set makes them so excited about numbers. It supports their understanding and learning as they can play with the numbers, manipulate, and explore with them. The mathematical possibilities are endless.

Do you think this product will meet your requirements to teach the National Curriculum Framework?
Yes, it can help meet all of the Early Years Foundation Stage early learning maths goals and also can be used into year 1 and 2 to support with many mathematical concepts.

How would you rate the long-term appeal of the product, both to you as the teacher, and to your students?
I give it 10/10 – the product will last years. The cubes are durable and hardwearing. I combined two sets which is plenty for a small group of children to use.

Do you think the product is unique or different from other resources in the subject area?
Yes as said above, there aren’t any other products like this. They are different to the regular multilink cubes as these MathLink Cubes match with the colour of the Numberblocks, and children are able to build each exact number character.

Does the product offer any support for SEND pupils?
Yes, because they are hands-on concrete materials this set can be accessed by all children. I have a child in my class with Autism. He also loves the set and making the numbers. The MathLink Cubes are also a good challenge for him to develop his fine motor skills.

Discover more MathLink Cubes hands-on maths teaching aids and see our classroom numeracy resources developed to support teachers.