The goals for each MathBRIX activity are easy to understand. Teachers can feel confident letting students work on MathBRIX independently during centers or even as a homework assignment. A help button is present during tasks. It may point out what went wrong or replay the tutorial, so students should be encouraged to ask for help if they cannot see the solution on their own. Because there are many ways to go about solving most of the problems, teachers would be wise to use the program to model problem-solving in front of the class. Using think-through modeling, kids can hear how others might solve the problem and learn the benefit of trial and error.Continue reading Show less
MathBRIX is a set of game-based activities that encourages young kids to think concretely about operations. Teachers can easily set kids up with their own usernames and passwords -- added one at a time or uploaded from a spreadsheet -- and then let the program take over. Each game begins with a short tutorial that speaks as it demonstrates the task. The tutorial can be displayed again at any time.
Each activity uses building bricks to demonstrate all sorts of skills. To teach patterns, kids build towers of bricks in groups of ones, tens, or hundreds. In another game kids are asked to finish a number sentence. No guessing here! Students must first prove their solution with the correct number of blocks, then using the numbers correctly in the equation. Each game is won by completing three tasks correctly, so students who are ready can move on without getting bored. Coins and stars are earned for each level completed, and reward games are accessed using the coins. Teachers shouldn't worry about students spending too much time just playing reward games, like Brix Ninja, as playtime is limited.
MathBRIX recognizes the power of connecting images to numerals and consistently displays both representations of the value. A voice reads each solution as well. MathBRIX begins with one idea and builds upon that while introducing other skills. This is a solid formula for growing strong math concepts. Each level adds just a bit more complexity and increases the challenge while still building from the previously mastered material. In one game, an interactive balance is used to demonstrate equivalency, therefore starting kids on the path toward equations. Several activities contain this hidden higher-level math. For example, when kids drag a value from one side of the equation to another, the sign changes as well, not to mention modeling the commutative property correctly for both addition and subtraction problems.
Key Standards Supported
Counting And Cardinality
Count to 100 by ones and by tens.
Count forward beginning from a given number within the known sequence (instead of having to begin at 1).
Write numbers from 0 to 20. Represent a number of objects with a written numeral 0-20 (with 0 representing a count of no objects).
Understand the relationship between numbers and quantities; connect counting to cardinality.
When counting objects, say the number names in the standard order, pairing each object with one and only one number name and each number name with one and only one object.
Understand that the last number name said tells the number of objects counted. The number of objects is the same regardless of their arrangement or the order in which they were counted.
Understand that each successive number name refers to a quantity that is one larger.
Count to answer “how many?” questions about as many as 20 things arranged in a line, a rectangular array, or a circle, or as many as 10 things in a scattered configuration; given a number from 1–20, count out that many objects.
Identify whether the number of objects in one group is greater than, less than, or equal to the number of objects in another group, e.g., by using matching and counting strategies.1
Compare two numbers between 1 and 10 presented as written numerals.
Number And Operations In Base Ten
Compose and decompose numbers from 11 to 19 into ten ones and some further ones, e.g., by using objects or drawings, and record each composition or decomposition by a drawing or equation (e.g., 18 = 10 + 8); understand that these numbers are composed of ten ones and one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, or nine ones.
Understand that the two digits of a two-digit number represent amounts of tens and ones. Understand the following as special cases:
10 can be thought of as a bundle of ten ones — called a “ten.” b.
The numbers from 11 to 19 are composed of a ten and one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, or nine ones.
The numbers 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 refer to one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, or nine tens (and 0 ones).
Compare two two-digit numbers based on meanings of the tens and ones digits, recording the results of comparisons with the symbols >, =, and <.
Add within 100, including adding a two-digit number and a one-digit number, and adding a two-digit number and a multiple of 10, using concrete models or drawings and strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction; relate the strategy to a written method and explain the reasoning used. Understand that in adding two-digit numbers, one adds tens and tens, ones and ones; and sometimes it is necessary to compose a ten.
Subtract multiples of 10 in the range 10-90 from multiples of 10 in the range 10-90 (positive or zero differences), using concrete models or drawings and strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction; relate the strategy to a written method and explain the reasoning used.
Understand that the three digits of a three-digit number represent amounts of hundreds, tens, and ones; e.g., 706 equals 7 hundreds, 0 tens, and 6 ones. Understand the following as special cases:
100 can be thought of as a bundle of ten tens — called a “hundred.”
The numbers 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, 900 refer to one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, or nine hundreds (and 0 tens and 0 ones).
Count within 1000; skip-count by 5s, 10s, and 100s.
Read and write numbers to 1000 using base-ten numerals, number names, and expanded form.
Compare two three-digit numbers based on meanings of the hundreds, tens, and ones digits, using >, =, and < symbols to record the results of comparisons.
Fluently add and subtract within 100 using strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction.
Add up to four two-digit numbers using strategies based on place value and properties of operations.
Add and subtract within 1000, using concrete models or drawings and strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction; relate the strategy to a written method. Understand that in adding or subtracting three- digit numbers, one adds or subtracts hundreds and hundreds, tens and tens, ones and ones; and sometimes it is necessary to compose or decompose tens or hundreds.
Mentally add 10 or 100 to a given number 100–900, and mentally subtract 10 or 100 from a given number 100–900.
Explain why addition and subtraction strategies work, using place value and the properties of operations.3
Operations And Algebraic Thinking
Represent addition and subtraction with objects, fingers, mental images, drawings2, sounds (e.g., claps), acting out situations, verbal explanations, expressions, or equations.
Solve addition and subtraction word problems, and add and subtract within 10, e.g., by using objects or drawings to represent the problem.
Decompose numbers less than or equal to 10 into pairs in more than one way, e.g., by using objects or drawings, and record each decomposition by a drawing or equation (e.g., 5 = 2 + 3 and 5 = 4 + 1).
For any number from 1 to 9, find the number that makes 10 when added to the given number, e.g., by using objects or drawings, and record the answer with a drawing or equation.
Fluently add and subtract within 5.
Use addition and subtraction within 20 to solve word problems involving situations of adding to, taking from, putting together, taking apart, and comparing, with unknowns in all positions, e.g., by using objects, drawings, and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem.2
Solve word problems that call for addition of three whole numbers whose sum is less than or equal to 20, e.g., by using objects, drawings, and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem.
Apply properties of operations as strategies to add and subtract.3 Examples: If 8 + 3 = 11 is known, then 3 + 8 = 11 is also known. (Commutative property of addition.) To add 2 + 6 + 4, the second two numbers can be added to make a ten, so 2 + 6 + 4 = 2 + 10 = 12. (Associative property of addition.)
Relate counting to addition and subtraction (e.g., by counting on 2 to add 2).
Add and subtract within 20, demonstrating fluency for addition and subtraction within 10. Use strategies such as counting on; making ten (e.g., 8 + 6 = 8 + 2 + 4 = 10 + 4 = 14); decomposing a number leading to a ten (e.g., 13 – 4 = 13 – 3 – 1 = 10 – 1 = 9); using the relationship between addition and subtraction (e.g., knowing that 8 + 4 = 12, one knows 12 – 8 = 4); and creating equivalent but easier or known sums (e.g., adding 6 + 7 by creating the known equivalent 6 + 6 + 1 = 12 + 1 = 13).
Understand the meaning of the equal sign, and determine if equations involving addition and subtraction are true or false. For example, which of the following equations are true and which are false? 6 = 6, 7 = 8 – 1, 5 + 2 = 2 + 5, 4 + 1 = 5 + 2.
Determine the unknown whole number in an addition or subtraction equation relating three whole numbers. For example, determine the unknown number that makes the equation true in each of the equations 8 + ? = 11, 5 = _ – 3, 6 + 6 = _.
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