Why Use Digi-Block?
By facilitating an early understanding of number sense, the Digi-Block Program propels students’ math skills forward and saves time-consuming reteaching in subsequent grades.
The Digi-Block Program is a research-based system that allows students to discover number-sense for themselves. Before addressing the abstract and technical aspects of arithmetic operations (symbols, language, regrouping, etc…), students are allowed to discover for themselves the meaning of numbers and digits through the blocks and “smart box” system. Once students discover and internalize how numbers work, they naturally pair their hands-on understanding with the conventional, abstract understanding of arithmetic. In this way, learning arithmetic with Digi-Block is like learning how to ride a bike: once you get it, you never forget it!
The blocks are an accurate model of the base-10 number system that is straightforward and easy for students to grasp.
Because of their design and the accuracy with which they model the base-10 number system, students learn number sense effortlessly while interacting with Digi-Block. By counting and packing blocks into groups of 10′s, 100′s, etc., students become familiar with the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. In this way, students first learn basic math without being burdened with any cumbersome and abstract algorithms, symbols, or rules – they simply have to use the blocks!
With regular use, students naturally begin to see patterns, and sometimes will come up with the algorithms and shortcuts on their own. Traditional arithmetic is now only a step away, and students base their understanding on the hands-on experience instilled through use of the blocks.
Digi-Block can be used with all levels of students, from special education to gifted and advanced learners.
Since Digi-Block was designed to teach number sense, place value and operations, the program is not specific to grade level or student ability. It can be used with students in Pre-K and continued throughout all grades and ages until those concepts are mastered. The Digi-Block Program is an effective tool for advanced learners, special education and every student in between. Because differentiation is made easy with Digi-Block, every student in the classroom is “doing Digi”, though not necessarily at the same level of difficulty.
The Digi-Block Program provides teachers with assessment opportunities. By watching students use the blocks, they can immediately identify students who need additional support and concepts that require further classroom exploration.
Assessing students’ progress with Digi-Block is as easy as watching them model the operations with the blocks: if students do not understand, it is clearly visible in the way that they manipulate the blocks. Using Digi-Block, teachers can also target the specific point in an algorithmic process where students are weak. When a student does not perform an operation correctly, or does not understand a certain equation or process, clarifying the problem is simply a matter of modeling the steps with the blocks. Additionally, Digi-Block’s teacher resources contain an assessment component to help educators evaluate each student’s progress and conceptual development throughout the year.
The Digi-Block Program can be used effectively with any curriculum.
Because the heart of The Digi-Block Program is its simplicity, Digi-Block can be used anywhere numbers are used! Digi-Block materials seamlessly incorporate into any mathematics curriculum to provide students a deeper understanding of number sense, place value and operations allowing students to “see the math.” Resources to help you incorporate Digi-Block into your curriculum include:
- The Digi-Block Comprehensive Teacher’s Guide can be used to develop your own lessons for number sense, place value and operations
- Lessons written by veteran Digi-Block teachers can be downloaded from Lesson Plans and Activities
- The new Digi-Block book series Kohlberg’s Digi-Block Mathematics featuring a comprehensive offering of “five-minute teacher prep” Lesson Plans and Worksheets that make implementation and use of the program that much simpler for today’s busy teachers. The Pre-K, Kindergarten, and Grade 1 books are currently available, with additional grades to follow. Sample lessons can be found in the Lesson Plans and Activities for Pre-K and Kindergarten.
The Digi-Block Program is a comprehensive, dynamic teaching and learning resource, as well as the center of a community of proactive Digi-Block users.
We are continually integrating new ideas and research into to our existing method to make Digi-Block the best way to teach and learn basic math. Through professional development and new publications, teachers can always find something new to learn in association with Digi-Block.