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Numberblocks


Created on 23 April 2018 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 01 February 2019 by ncetm_administrator

Numberblocks: materials to support Early Years and Year 1 teachers

Numberblocks, first broadcast in January 2017, is a pre-school BBC television series aimed at introducing children to early number.

Snappy animation and loveable characters combine with engaging storylines to gently introduce concepts of number to support early mathematical understanding.

The NCETM materials use each episode as a launch pad. They are designed to assist Early Years (and also Year 1) practitioners to confidently move on from an episode, helping children to bring the numbers and ideas to life in the world around them.

The materials are designed to be used in conjunction with the Numberblocks episodes. They highlight and develop the key mathematical ideas that are embedded in the programmes. Each set of materials comes in the form of a PowerPoint file, and includes the following features:

The Practitioner Notes consist of three elements:

  1. The episode description summarises the story and the key things that happen
  2. The maths in the episode explains the key mathematical concepts that are featured in the episode
  3. Using mathematical language – because it is important that practitioners model precise and correct mathematical language, there are suggestions of key sentences that you might use and have repeated; they provide a language structure to connect each mathematical idea to different contexts. Children will initially use their own language to talk about the mathematics, and will develop correct and precise language if this is modelled by adults.

Talk and Discuss Together provides a set of slides, designed to be used with children after they have watched the episode. They provide a stimulus to talk about what children have noticed, and draw their attention to key aspects of the mathematics. There are often notes for each slide, indicated by a blue dot in the bottom right-hand corner. The notes give ideas for supporting mathematical talk and engaging children in practical activity; some slides have animation to illustrate mathematical concepts.

Enabling Environments gives suggestions for extending the mathematics into the wider Early Years environment where children engage in meaningful activity and explore mathematical concepts.

Learning Together in Year 1 extends the mathematics into Y1. The slides are designed to be used within the context of whole class teaching for mastery.

Overviews of each series, their storylines and the mathematics addressed, are available as downloadable PDFs:

BBC Numberblocks episodes are available on DVD in two volumes from a number of online retailers. A few episodes are periodically available, in rotation, on the BBC iPlayer – but these won’t necessarily match the NCETM materials published so far; more materials are available on the CBeebies' Numberblocks page.

Series 1 (Episodes 1-15) | Series 2 (Episodes 1-5)

Series 1, Episode 1: “One”

A little block falls out of the sky, meets her numberling and discovers one wonderful world, singing and counting to one.

Mathematics:

  • Introduction to the number 1
  • Counting to 1
Download PowerPoint (These files are not editable – click ‘read only’ if prompted for a password.)

Series 1, Episode 2: “Another One”

One discovers it's tricky to play tennis when you're the only block in the world. She bumps into a magic mirror and meets Another One − and they join forces to make Two.

Mathematics:

  • Introduction to the number 2
  • 2 is one more than 1
Download PowerPoint (These files are not editable – click ‘read only’ if prompted for a password.)

Series 1, Episode 3: “Two”

Two finds a pair of magic dancing shoes and shows One that everything is better with two, singing and counting things that belong in pairs.

Mathematics:

  • Counting to 2
  • The ‘twoness’ of 2
Download PowerPoint (These files are not editable – click ‘read only’ if prompted for a password.)

Series 1, Episode 4: “Three”

Three arrives with a bang − and a song-and-dance about her favourite number: 1, 2, 3, Everybody Look at Me!

Mathematics:

  • Introduction to the number 3
  • 3 is one more than 2
Download PowerPoint (These files are not editable – click ‘read only’ if prompted for a password.)

Series 1, Episode 5: “One, Two, Three!”

Three does magic tricks with apples to show the others who goes first, who's biggest and how to surprise your number friends.

Mathematics:

  • Counting up to 3
  • Comparing numbers 1,2 and 3 – ‘bigger’ and ‘smaller’
  • Ordering numbers 1 to 3
  • 3 is made up of 2 and 1
Download PowerPoint (These files are not editable – click ‘read only’ if prompted for a password.)

Series 1, Episode 6: “Four”

Four is the new block on the block and he can’t wait to share how much he loves to be square!

Mathematics:

  • Meet Four
  • 4 is one more than 3
  • Counting to 4
  • The structure of 4 as a square number
  • Recognition of 4 items without counting (subitising)
Download PowerPoint (These files are not editable – click ‘read only’ if prompted for a password.)

Series 1, Episode 7: “Five”

Five arrives to get the band together − and gets the party started − with a big high five!

Mathematics:

  • Meet Five
  • 5 is one more than 4
  • Counting to 5
  • Line up 1 to 5 in order
Download PowerPoint (These files are not editable – click ‘read only’ if prompted for a password.)

Series 1, Episode 8: “Three Little Pigs”

The Numberblocks present theor very own, very numbery version of the classic tale: The Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Square.

Mathematics:

  • Counting to 4
  • Adding 1s
Download PowerPoint (These files are not editable – click ‘read only’ if prompted for a password.)

Series 1, Episode 9: “Off We Go!”

Five and friends set off on a rhyming romp through field and forest but they keep getting mixed up!

Mathematics:

  • Counting to 5
  • Line up 1 to 5 in order
  • Identify missing numbers within a 1 to 5 line-up
Download PowerPoint (These files are not editable – click ‘read only’ if prompted for a password.)

Series 1, Episode 10: “How to Count”

It’s a lovely day for a picnic but one of the flapjacks is missing! Is there a flapjack-snaffler on the loose, or has Three forgotten what Numberblocks do best?

Mathematics:

  • The key principles of counting:
    • One to one correspondence – match one number name to each item to be counted
    • Cardinality – the last number in the count is the total size of the group
    • Stable order – say the number names in the correct order
Download PowerPoint (These files are not editable – click ‘read only’ if prompted for a password.)

Series 1, Episode 11: “Stampolines”

Three opens a stampoline park, where her friends have splatty fun making inky prints of all the shapes they can make.

Mathematics:

  • Subitising numbers 1 to 5
  • Different ways of arranging blocks to 5
  • Conservation of number – different arrangement of blocks but the number remains the same
Download PowerPoint (These files are not editable – click ‘read only’ if prompted for a password.)

Series 1, Episode 12: “The Whole of Me”

The Numberblocks show us what they are made of in a song and dance all about the parts that make a whole.

Mathematics:

  • Composition of numbers 1 to 5
  • Introduction to the ‘part-part-whole’ structure of number
  • Partitioning a whole number into parts
  • Conservation of number – a number can be partitioned but the whole (total) remains the same
Download PowerPoint (These files are not editable – click ‘read only’ if prompted for a password.)

Series 1, Episode 13: “The Terrible Twos”

Double trouble as Four splits and a pair of tricky twins turn up: The Terrible Twos, who decide it’s time to tickle their friends to pieces.

Mathematics:

  • 4 can be partitioned into 2 and 2; and, 1 and 1 and 1 and 1.
Download PowerPoint (These files are not editable – click ‘read only’ if prompted for a password.)

Series 1, Episode 14 “Holes”

Five and friends discover a hole that makes their heads fall off!

Mathematics:

  • The number of a group can be changed by adding to it or taking from it.
  • Addition and subtraction of 1
  • Number bonds to 5
Download PowerPoint (These files are not editable – click ‘read only’ if prompted for a password.)

Series 1, Episode 15: “Hide and Seek”

Five is so good at hide and seek, she can find the others without looking up from her book − but how?

Mathematics:

  • Addition and subtraction of numbers to 5
  • Number bonds to 5
Download PowerPoint (These files are not editable – click ‘read only’ if prompted for a password.)

Series 2, Episode 1: “Six”

The Numberblocks make a new friend who likes to roll the dice, and with Six in the mix, everything's a game.

Mathematics:

  • Meet Six
  • Counting (1 to 6)
  • Subitising (dice patterns).
Download PowerPoint (These files are not editable – click ‘read only’ if prompted for a password.)

Series 2, Episode 2: “Seven”

It's a rainy day for a picnic, but when lucky number Seven appears, everything comes up rainbows.

Mathematics:

  • Meet Seven
  • 7 is one more than 6
  • Counting (1 to 7).
Download PowerPoint (These files are not editable – click ‘read only’ if prompted for a password.)

Series 2, Episode 3: “Eight”

Numberland is rocked by the arrival of superblock Eight, known to his friends and fans as Octoblock.

Mathematics:

  • Meet Eight
  • Counting (1 to 8)
  • 8 is one more than 7
  • Subitising (8).
Download PowerPoint (These files are not editable – click ‘read only’ if prompted for a password.)

Series 2, Episode 4: “Nine”

Numberblock Nine arrives in Numberland, finds a friend in Four, sings a song about squares… and sneezes!

Mathematics:

  • Meet Nine
  • Counting (1 to 9)
  • The structure of square numbers (4 and 9)
  • Partitioning and combining 9.
Download PowerPoint (These files are not editable – click ‘read only’ if prompted for a password.)

Series 2, Episode 5: “Ten”

Ten comes to town and tells the team what it’s like to be a perfect ten-block, singing I’m Ten Ones and I’m One Ten.

Mathematics:

  • Meet Ten
  • Counting (1 to 10)
  • 10 ones are equivalent to one 10.
Download PowerPoint (These files are not editable – click ‘read only’ if prompted for a password.)

Series 2, Episode 6: “Just Add One”

One’s idea of fun is singing, dancing and making friends by adding one!

Mathematics:

  • Adding 1
  • Counting (1 to 10).
Download PowerPoint (These files are not editable – click ‘read only’ if prompted for a password.)

Series 2, Episode 7: “Ten Green Bottles”

One of the bottles in Ten’s collection accidentally falls off the wall and sparks a very numbery hullabaloo.

Mathematics:

  • Subtracting 1
  • Counting (1 to 10)
  • Counting down 10 to 1.
Download PowerPoint (These files are not editable – click ‘read only’ if prompted for a password.)

Series 2, Episode 8: “Counting Sheep”

Six tries to get the cheeky sheep to sleep and discovers that two (or three) heads are better than one.

Mathematics:

  • Exploring equivalent ways to represent 6
  • Partitioning 6 into equal groups
  • Factors of 6.
Download PowerPoint (These files are not editable – click ‘read only’ if prompted for a password.)

Series 2, Episode 9: “Double Trouble”

One explores the Double Dungeon of Doom in search of the golden apples and doubles all the way up to Octoblock.

Mathematics:

  • Doubling (1, 2, 4, 8) and halving
  • Partitioning 8 into equal groups.
Download PowerPoint (These files are not editable – click ‘read only’ if prompted for a password.)

Series 2, Episode 10: “The Three Threes”

When Nine needs a helping hand, he turns into a talented trio of bouncing blocks, the three Threes.

Mathematics:

  • Partitioning 9 into 3 equal groups
  • Partitioning is the inverse of combining.
Download PowerPoint (These files are not editable – click ‘read only’ if prompted for a password.)

Series 2, Episode 11: “Odds and Evens”

The Numberblocks play an exciting game of bounceball − it’s the Even Tops versus the Odd Blocks.

Mathematics:

  • Odd and even numbers
  • Equal groups.
Download PowerPoint (These files are not editable – click ‘read only’ if prompted for a password.)

Series 2, Episode 12: “Fluffies”

One finds a friendly furball, two of them tickle Two and soon Numberland is full of fun and fluffies!

Mathematics:

  • Counting (1 to 8)
  • Number bonds within 7.
Download PowerPoint (These files are not editable – click ‘read only’ if prompted for a password.)

Series 2, Episode 13: “Blast Off!”

Ten promises to take the others on a trip to the moon but blasts off on her own. How will they get there?

Mathematics:

  • Count back from 10 to 1
  • Numberblocks that total 10.
Download PowerPoint (These files are not editable – click ‘read only’ if prompted for a password.)

Series 2, Episode 14: “The Two Tree”

The Numberblocks find a magic Two Tree and play an action-packed game of throwing Twos.

Mathematics:

  • Subtracting 2 from numbers up to 10
  • Counting in 2s.
Download PowerPoint (These files are not editable – click ‘read only’ if prompted for a password.)

Series 2, Episode 15: “Numberblock Castle”

One, Two, Three and Four have a castle-exploring adventure, with a little help from the friends they make along the way.

Mathematics:

  • Adding more than 1 to make 5 to 10.
Download PowerPoint (These files are not editable – click ‘read only’ if prompted for a password.)

We would love to hear your feedback on these support materials.


 

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