I recently received the Maths Boxes for 5th and 6th Class from Prim-Ed. While I explored the teacher’s manual I felt the best critics for the boxes were the children themselves, so I introduced them to my 6th class during Maths Week.
What it contains:
The Maths Box has 2 sets of 75 cards which cover the strands Number, Measures, Algebra, Shape and Space and Data. There are subsets of cards for the numbers and measures strands which focus on place value, operations and fractions, decimals and percentages in the Number strand and a separate set of cards that focus on Time in the Measures strand.
The teacher’s manual also contains a comprehensive guide to introducing the cards in the classroom. It also contains answer sheets and records for the pupils along with tracking sheets for the teacher. The teacher’s manual also contains a variety of support materials for the different maths cards.
Using Maths Box in class:
I used both the 5th class and 6th class boxes with my 6th class. I felt that some of the class were not ready for the language in the 6th class cards just yet. I used the fractions cards to revise content covered in 5th class which was ideal before introducing the fractions topic to them in maths class this week. I also gave the groups data cards and algebra cards from 5th class box and place value numbers from 6th class box.
The children enjoyed working with the cards, it is a great independent learning activity, and as there were 2 of each card the children could also work collaboratively. They found the language used in the cards tricky initially and needed some support for some questions. However when we discussed the cards at the end of the week they were becoming more comfortable with the language and felt they needed to work on the cards more often in preparation for secondary school.
My own verdict:
The Maths Cards would be worth the investment however I would begin with the Maths Box for the class below your own group. I felt that they were an ideal way to revise previous concepts and build confidence in that topic also especially when the children were not familiar with the cards. I would then use the class set of cards at the end of the topic to build on what was covered in lessons within the class. As the children become more familiar with Maths Cards in other classes, you may not need to use the lower option, but starting out I felt my class benefited from using Maths Box 5.
These cards could also be used for early finishers activities and for higher achievers. There are record sheets for the students in the teachers manual to encourage autonomous learning.
Overall I was very pleased with the Maths Box, as were my 6th Class. As we began a topic today they asked me about doing Maths Box instead. They are familiar with the comprehension box so they are eager to work on Maths Boxes too.
As I work with the Maths Cards with my 5th and 6th after the midterm I will update our progress here.