Happy Summer everyone. Hadn’t expected to blog much this summer as I’m vigorously preparing for my new teaching assignment. However, something “mathy” showed up and I was asked to review it.
Sumboxes is a new subscription company that comes to your door step. It’s essentially math-in-a-box. In all my years of teaching, I haven’t seen “teacher” boxes, let alone subscription boxes that include math. The sample box I received was geared for teachers or parents of kindergarteners. Upon further research of their website, they also have boxes for first grade and second grade.
What’s in the box?
Let’s get to the nitty gritty before anything else. Watch below….[wpvideo vsKay6oi]
Let’s lay it all out…. You have 2 math activities that include directions/notes, 2 PVC zipper bags, dice, cards, dinos, a magnet, and a sticker —-all included in a neatly blue and yellow schemed wrapping.
Upon my inspection, there’s a lot going on in this box. First, I liked that there was not one, but two quality activities. I can totally see kinders at my school excited by the fact that they were playing games with dinos (who doesn’t get excited by that?!?!). Secondly, the instruction cards, notes, and activity boards were on good quality card stock. They weren’t flimsy at all. It seems as though they will survive some wear/tear from little ones. I also was thrilled to see that I can store the activities in the zipper bags (if you haven’t come across these before….get them!!!!) Lastly and most importantly, it’s all there. As teachers, we scour the internet (Pinterest, Teacher Pay Teacher, or blogs) or our activity books (blow that dust off of them) to find quality activities. If/when we do find activities, we then have to rummage around for the right materials, supplies, etc. All of this takes time, effort (copying, laminating, cutting), and money. And sometimes—in the case of TeacherPayTeacher—-you don’t truly know what you’re getting until you download the file (just because it has a cute font doesn’t make it good).
Long story, short — it is refreshing to see an idea like this come along where more math content is being offered. No fuss, no muss.
Heading back to the Sumboxes website, I read about the company more and came across this.
It’s usually perceived by parents and students to be hard, difficult, and boring. To read this mission statement is refreshing. This mission statement also aligns with my views that math can be intriguing, invigorating, and enjoyable. Why can’t students play games and do activities that practice math skills? I can imagine the look on students’ faces when we take out one of these boxes. Pure excitement!
Here are a few questions that rattled around in my brain…..
- Would SumBoxes offer a menu of what math concepts are going to be covered in my future boxes? For instance, this month we are adding, but next month we are covering subtracting.
- Will SumBoxes eventually create boxes for third through fifth grades? I can see the potential for fractions, decimals, etc.
- If I’d like another box of the dinosaurs, can I get an additional box without having to pay for a full separate subscription?
(As I ponder more, I will be adding more questions in the future.)
My advice for teachers and coaches would be to check out Sumboxes. I can see schools/principals subscribe to this for individual teachers and/or grade levels. Teachers could try a box out for a month and rotate them among their colleagues. The potential to for support in math is there. It’s a great tool/resource to have around which will engage our students in math.
****This review was completely unsolicited. I’m not getting paid and compensated in any way, shape or form. I just like math stuff. ****