Saturday, October 23, 2021

Topple Blocks

I just want to quickly share this fantastic Topple Blocks idea! Not my own, this comes from Teaching with a Mountain View. She has a wonderful blog, and also has materials at Teachers Pay Teachers. She's one of my favorites! So nice to download something and not have it have any typographical errors or mistakes in the answer key.

Here is her post on Elapsed Time. The elapsed time problems on the worksheet are color coded, and you must solve a problem of the appropriate color before pulling out the block you need to remove from the Jenga tower. Such a clever idea!


The set of blocks above match the colors she uses (purple, blue, green, yellow, pink, red) and you simply print the elapsed time worksheet in color.

Here's her FREE worksheet for Elapsed Time Topple Blocks.

But you also don't have to go that fancy. I got a set of plain wood "Jumbling Tower" blocks for free at a board game swap, and just wrote math facts on the ends and sides with Sharpie. Great practice for math facts! The set I had consisted of 48 blocks, so I did the math facts as follows:

    9 x 9 down to 9 x 1

    8 x 8 down to 8 x 1

    7 x 7 down to 7 x 1

    6 x 6 down to 6 x 1

    5 x 5 down to 5 x 1

    4 x 4 down to 4 x 1

    9 x 9 down to 9 x 1 (again)

I started with the numbers kids usually have trouble multiplying, which are the larger ones. I was really pleased that the math worked out that I could fit in the nine table twice. I also changed up the order of the math facts when I wrote the blocks, writing the problem one way on the sides and the other way on the ends (example: 7 x 4 on the sides and 4 x 7 on the ends).

I actually had a really good time doing this

it's oddly soothing

In a second blog post from Teaching with a Mountain View, Using Topple Blocks with Task Cards, she gives another option for if you can't print in color. Just have the paper you print on be different colors and go ahead and print all in black. This way you can use any set of task cards. Brilliant!

Here's another possible Topple Blocks tower with different colors: purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, red.


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