The four different sides lead to understanding

How did intuitibrix come about?

Throughout my many years as a teacher, I have always looked for material that stimulates children to think and helps them understand, not just memorize, what is being taught. The market is huge and there is useful, but also completely pointless or even harmful material. Many materials require adult help. But children want to discover for themselves, and teachers, kindergarten teachers or parents don't always have the time.

The challenges of recent years, i.e. homeschooling, teacher shortages, class cancellations, children with insufficient language skills, etc. make it difficult for parents and professionals to support and challenge children sufficiently. It therefore needs a material that can be used easily and without many explanations. It should also motivate children and guarantee their learning success.

I asked children what they like to do most. In addition to gaming, painting and playing football, the answer was often: BUILDING. What luck! This motivated me to develop building blocks with numbers, grooves and dots that constantly remind the children of the number and quantity of each building block. So you can see, for example, that the 6 is only a reversed 9 as a number. They aren't the same size. I managed to integrate practically all mathematical aspects that are important in the beginning lessons into intuitibrix. The more I deal with it and ask people around me, the more we discover how much mathematics is still in the material. So it doesn't get boring that quickly.

What does the name intuitibrix mean?

intuitive comes from intuitive and brix from the English word brick. So it means intuitive learning with building blocks. Mathematical insights are provoked by dealing with the building blocks. There is no right and no wrong. Through building, number and quantity relationships are discovered, basic geometric experiences are made and creativity is stimulated. The children benefit the most when their urge to discover is given free rein. Adults are welcome to admire what the child has built or simply join in.

Nevertheless, you can present a lot of learning content from the curricula of primary, elementary and elementary schools with the building blocks.

Number of building blocks

intuitibrix consists of 1 ten, 1 nine, 1 eight, 1 seven, 1 six, 2 fives, 3 fours, 4 threes, 7 twos and 12 ones.

Blocks 6 to 10 only exist once each. So if I want to have another ten, for example, I HAVE to put it together from smaller building blocks.

Each building block is available so often that you can build at least the height of the tenth with nothing but the same.

10 + 9 + 8 +7 + 6 + 2x5 + 3x4 + 4x3 + 7x2 + 12x1 = 100

If you had nothing but individual building blocks, there would be exactly 100. A row corresponds to 10 building blocks. 2 rows are 20, 3 rows are 30, etc. All numbers up to 100 can be practiced in this way. The payment cards, which are available as a free download in the shop, are a good help.

What can you learn with intuitibrix?

To count
In order to know how high each building block is, you can count the fields on the sides with the indentations. Sometimes it happens that children count the lines and not the squares. In this case, you can rebuild the corresponding building block with ones, count them and then compare them. It is even easier if the child counts the points.


Counting
Children can recite numbers from 1 to 10 very early on. But do you know what eg 4 means? Or can you name the numbers individually? As an adult you know that from foreign languages. Many people can say the sequence of numbers in another language, but do not know the individual numbers.

If a child wants to learn numbers, you can place the building blocks with the number side down or stand them up and ask for individual numbers. Eg "Show me the 7!" It's harder when you point to a number and ask, "What's the name of that number?" If the child can already count, it can turn the building block over itself and then see what the corresponding number looks like as a number.


Quantity registration
Recognizing number relationships is of elementary importance for later calculations. Which number is larger, smaller, the same size, larger by 2, etc. It is important that the child recognizes the number at a glance and does not have to count the squares every time. Since you can normally only record amounts up to slightly 5 simultaneously, the building blocks 6 to 10 have a wider line at the level of the 5.


Add (+)

The material is based on the same quantity = same height principle. This does not mean, however, that addition can only be understood if the towers are of the same height. You can also see that 4 +3 is less than 8, for example. This is a type of task that often causes major problems in school. (4+3 < 8) So if a child puts the 8 next to the tower made up of 4 and 3, you might ask what it notices. To get the child thinking, you could ask: what if...

  • you take a 5 instead of the 4

  • you take a 5 instead of the 3

  • you take a 7 instead of the 8, etc.


Subtract (-)
Subtract means to take away. But how can I take something away from a solid building block? A question that is easy to discuss with the child. Lots of kids have good ideas. If not, one possibility would be to put the number you want to remove flush on top of the original number. The result can be read from the empty fields.


Multiply (x)
When multiplying, the same quantity is taken several times, for example: 4 + 4 + 4. What can you discover? For example, you can find out how high three fours are. They are as high as a ten and a deuce, or as high as two sixes, or as high as four threes, or as high as twelve ones.

The basic set is sufficient for initial experience. For the complete multiplication table you need each building block at least 10 times.


To divide (:)
When dividing, there are two ways that look the same on paper. E.g. 12 : 3 =

  • I place the 12 (tens and twos) and try out how often I need the threes so that the towers are the same height.

  • I lay the 12 with ones and divide them among 3 people. Everyone always gets 1 until they can't anymore. How many blocks did each person get?

 

In both cases you can choose any number. What do you notice if I want to calculate 11 : 3, for example?

  • No matter how many threesomes I take, it will never be the same.

  • If I divide 11 ones among three people, there are 2 ones left.

In order to understand division, it is very important that one from the start too takes bills that have a remainder.


Lay or continue pattern

Pattern sequences are elements that are repeated over and over again.

Examples:

  • 2 from the front, 2 from the back, 2 from the front...

  • Number sequences 1, 3, 2, 1, 3, …

  • Number sequences 4,3,2,1,4,3, ...

  • a 1 flat, a 1 set up, a 1 flat, …

More ideas usually come naturally during construction.


Symmetry
Many children build symmetrical or mirror-inverted figures by themselves. You could stimulate them if you put a larger building block in the middle and the child places the same building block on the left and right of it.


Cube buildings
Three-dimensional building is an important basic experience. Children who have never built find it difficult to read two-dimensional plans later on. Many children just like to start building. If a child has no idea, you could, for example, build a building and have the child continue or copy it. A difficult continuation would be to sign off the buildings or make plans. A good preliminary exercise is the game “City of Towerbrix”.


More options
The material is designed to make the four basic arithmetic operations understandable to children. The older the children get, the more additional possibilities open up, eg area or volume calculations, perimeters, fractions, etc. And if you just want to be creative, you can perhaps build a castle for the princess or a parking garage for toy cars.