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# Math Building Blocks

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A grid that uses symbols instead of colors

Some learners may need or prefer to use a grid that does not rely on colors. The principal is the same as before. Each symbol is matched with a particular number.

An article showing another way to introduce the Math Building Blocks

Introduce the *Math Building Blocks *by guiding students to build natural numbers consecutively beginning at 2. Whenever possible, students use blocks that they have already 'created' to build each new number. Otherwise, they invent a new block. The link takes you to a page on the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics website where NCTM members can download an article I wrote on the subject in the October 2009 issue of *Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School.*

Sieve of Eratosthenes animations

Download and play these movies showing a way to build prime factorizations using a modified form of the Sieve of Eratosthenes based on the *Math Building Blocks. *

*Prime Out *is a prime factorization game that I wrote for the *Math Building Blocks *at around the same time that I wrote the article above (back in about 2009).* *It's a bit dated now in terms of both appearance and functionality, but it still works—so I thought I'd share it with you anyway. My students enjoyed playing it, and it develops both computation and reasoning skills.

A very large prime factorization grid

I thought it would be cool to have a picture of all prime factorizations for numbers through 1000. (You can decide if this is crazy or not!) I created a 32 by 32 grid. The file is a pdf document, and you will need to zoom in quite a bit to see what it really looks like. A print shop should be able to take the pdf and make a large copy of it if you want something physical to look at (or hang up). 3 ft by 3 ft works well for me.

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