Omnifix Cubes Assessment Tools For The Classroom
A large part of our curriculum involves STEM and manipulatives. I love the use of products such as these Omnifix Cubes from Assessment Services that help children gain understanding of math while they think they are playing. Children learn best when they have an interest invested in what they are doing. Products such as these are a great way to work on that interest and guide them to a better understanding of mathematics.
Assessment Services has several different products that would make a great addition to the classroom!
My kids were intrigued by the t shaped colorful objects I had in the bag I had just pulled out of the box. I seen their eyes follow me as I carefully placed the bag where I knew the sun would shine enough for photos. Normally by that point they would be wondering aloud what I was doing but curiosity kept them quite. What were these odd shaped things? I could see the question floating around in their minds as they circled about the bag like vultures about to attack an un-moving prey. I than dumped them out into a pile on the floor and their eyes grew with wonder.
I picked one up to examine it, at first unsure of what to do. I folded one into a cube and as it clicked closed, their understanding clicked into place and they began to help me assemble the blocks. The process was easy and fun as we separated them into groups and raced to see who could make the most in the shortest time. They were easy enough to build and even little Lou Lou was able to form several cubes.
After we had a small pile of brightly hued hexahedrons ready for interaction, I let them free build while I read the awaiting instructions that came nestled in the bag. Enclosed inside the instructions were the many different ways to use them for educational purposes. Among the many uses are place value, symmetry, patterns, fractions, volume, area, and many other uses. I’m particularly interested in the use they service in learning place value and fractions as that is where we are currently struggling.
The kids enjoyed them for free building for a while creating different structures. Free build is also an invaluable experience and they use creative thinking to recreate an image they have in their heads in physical form.
Patterns is something Bub is always interested in. He likes the safety of patterns and often makes them with his building materials. He likes things to be in order. During free play, I will sometimes hear him telling Lou Lou how to create a pattern. These cubes are perfect for use in pattern creation.
If you can’t tell by our various forms of pyramids, we like to build pyramids. The one thing I really enjoyed about these cubes was the creative planning it takes to build a project. Due to the design of the cubes, the kids have to plan out their design before the building process.
There is a game suggestion in the instruction book that says to have the children sit back to back and give directions to build certain geometric shapes to see if they match. The two structures nearly matched and they had so much fun doing the activity.
Another activity we used them for was to practice symmetry. The kids took turns building random shapes and the other ones tried to replicate them. It was fun to watch them examine each other’s shapes and try to create a mirror image of it. We them took them and held them to a mirror to see what they looked like. All in all we had some quality fun family time learning math skills… how often can you say that?