I love Maths manipulatives. My kids tend to understand their Maths better if they can hold objects in their hands and move items around. And I have found with my son he will sit for longer and do more Maths if it is activity based instead of a worksheet. So when I was told about the Multiple Representation Dice from Learning Resources I was very curious as to how they would work.
The set consists of 16 foam dice and it covers numbers from zero to twenty. For each number there are four representations – the number itself, small blocks, tally marks and circles set out in a grid (10 – frame).
Immediate first impression – my son liked the feeling of the foam dice and the size was perfect for his hands (5cm x 5cm x 5cm).
He immediately started sorting the dice and matching the different views for each number.
By just trying to match the numbers to the visual representation he was doing lots of addition with 5’s and 10’s. And the more he matched the quicker he got. The more the kids play with these dice the quicker they become at recognising basic patterns like 3 fives plus 2 = 17. I LOVE this about the dice. As they become more and more familiar with these basic numbers and what makes up these numbers.
But you can use these Dice for so many other activities (just think Dice games and why use number dice when the kids could play the game with the tally mark dice instead ?).
We played a game where my son would choose two dice (any two dice not just the ones with the numbers on) and he would throw them and then create a sum and work out the answer. The sums were totally random some were easy and some were harder.
And the reason I LOVE this type of activity – is the simple fact that he sat for ages throwing the dice and creating sum after sum. He got to the point where after he threw the dice if the sum was too easy he would just say – “No too easy, going to throw again”.
And my daughter also joined in – she took it up a level and created some sums using four or more dice and even created some sums with brackets (she LOVES putting brackets into her sums).
And it does not only have to be addition, we also did some multiplication with the dice and we combined addition and multiplication – the first two dice needed to be added together and then the answer of that is multiplied by the third dice.
I Love this set of dice. I think the more the kids play with the dice and become more and more comfortable with the different ways the numbers are represented and the way we can build up our numbers use 5’s and 10’s the more confident they will get with basic maths sums.
My son has already added this set to our new Maths Basket. (I am aiming on getting a post about the March / April Maths Basket out within the next week – running a bit late as we have had some bugs – but in case you missed our other ones this is the original maths Basket that started the whole craze).
Learning Resources kindly sent me the Representation Dice together with a few other goodies for my kids to test out. The fact that they sent us the Dice in no way affected our thoughts on the product. We are big Learning Resources fans and I often buy their products for my kids to use.
You can also buy the Dice from Amazon – Learning Resources 86889 Multiple Representation Dice
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