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Can I Buy the Magnetic Blocks?

How many of us watched Mr. Demme explain math in a way we could finally understand by using his whiteboard and those large magnetic blocks? We had our own math “light bulb moments” didn’t we? It really was Math-U-See!

We wished we had been taught the Math-U-See way when we were in school. We knew we wanted that vital math understanding for our children, so the decision was made: we needed to order Math-U-See! As we proceeded to figure out our order, questions came up. Some of those questions were regarding those amazing magnetic blocks that Mr. Demme used.

Let’s address some of those questions about the magnetic blocks in this blog. Here we go!

Are the Magnetic Blocks the Ones We Get When We Order From Demme Learning?

No, not unless you specifically request them by calling customer service at 888-854-6284 M-F 8:30am-6pm Eastern Time. Otherwise, when you order manipulative blocks you will receive the Integer Block Kit.

What are the Differences Between the Magnetic and the Integer Block Kit?

The Teacher Magnetic Blocks are larger. For example, the 100 block in the magnetic set is 10″x 10″ compared to 5”x5” in the Integer Block Kit. Magnetic blocks are perfect for the larger classroom where you are teaching numerous children. Then all can see the blocks as the math concepts are explained. The Integer Block Kit is perfect for building the math concepts on a desk or table.

The magnetic set contains fewer blocks. The magnetic set consists of 40 pieces of colorful, base-10 magnetic blocks compared to 133 pieces in the Integer Block Kit.

When Would I Want to Purchase the Teacher Magnetic Manipulative Block Set instead of the Integer Block Kit?/strong>

In addition to the large classroom settings mentioned above, the magnetic blocks are great for students with learning difficulties. Using a magnetic whiteboard and the Magnetic Blocks for math problems allows students to use gross motor skills as well as fine motor skills. Many parents report that having their students work out math problems on a whiteboard has helped them whether or not they have a learning challenge.

Any There Any Cons to the Magnetic Blocks?

The standard blocks are hollow when you invert them, which helps students see being “in the hole” when working with subtraction or negative numbers. This is not possible with the magnetic blocks, which are solid on the back to accommodate the magnetic strips.

Lastly, because of the size and weight, the standard blocks are more portable.

We have touched on only a few questions and answers regarding the Teacher Magnetic Block Set. You may have more questions and/or answers to share, so feel free to comment. Being a life-long learner means we have opportunities every day to learn from one another!

Linda Fugleberg is a homeschooling veteran; she is Mom to six amazing grown children. She is grateful for over 40 years of marriage to her loving husband, Jim, and thoroughly enjoys being a grandmother to their beautiful grandchildren.

2 thoughts on “Can I Buy the Magnetic Blocks?”

1. DemmeLearning

You are correct, there is value in having the Magnetic Blocks for homeschooling your students. However, there are pros and cons as the blog mentions, such as not being as portable and also they can not show “being in the hole” so concretely as the regular integer blocks do. The reason the customer service representative you talked to mentioned that they were most needed in a bigger classroom type situation is because that is who most needs them because of the classroom size and number of students. In the homeschool setting it would not be what a homeschooler would normally choose to purchase, because the Integer Blocks work so well. However, that said, we would be more than happy to sell you the Magnetic Blocks if you would like them. Just give us a call on our toll free line at 888-854-62848:30am-6pm eastern time and we can assist you with ordering them. Have a good school year!

Our Magnetic Blocks were originally created for Steve Demme, the creator of Math-U-See, to use in a classroom setting for the video demonstrations. They made it easier to focus on Steve’s explanation since they are large enough to be visible without requiring a close-up on the blocks (which would cut out the presenter). When customers requested the blocks they see in the videos, we began to produce and sell them, primarily to classroom customers because of this visibility. Because they are not a high demand item, we produce small batches of them at a time. In addition, they are hand-made, so they are fairly costly to produce. Because of the production costs, we have to charge significantly more for them than for the plastic Integer Block Kit. Given how many blocks you get (nowhere near as many as in the full Integer Block Kit), most homeschoolers choose to stick with the Integer Block Kits.

2. Margaret Murray

I teach in a small private school. We have very small class sizes of 5-10 students. In order to present in my small classes I laminated the Decimal Street poster to hang on my whiteboard (it’s not magnetic). I have the Integer Block sets. I put blue painters tape on the blocks so I could attach them to the poster. This has worked very well for my students.

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