11 Ways To Use Snap Blocks To Teach

Do you have a small classroom like I do? When you have limited space or storage it is vital to use the materials you have in a variety of ways. Here are 10 different ways to use snap blocks to teach math, reading and fine motor skills.

Most rooms have these snap blocks. The come in a variety of colors and don't take up a ton of room. Don't leave them in the closet until you teach that 1 or 2 lessons that require them! You can use them for so much more!!

Teaching Math Skills With Snap Blocks

1.) Patterning
            Teach students to extend, recreate and build patterns.  Make the task more or less challenging by adding in extra blocks that don't go with the pattern. Here is an example of less challenging... only the needed snap blocks are choices. 

2.) Measuring
            You can use these snap blocks to teach students when targeting non-standard measuring.... it doesn't have to be paperclips! Turn it around... make block towers of different heights and have students measure them with a ruler. Students can then work on taller vs. shorter or put the towers in order from shortest to tallest based on their measurements. 

3.) Sorting
             Have students sort by color or set the blocks up in stacks and have students sort by number of blocks in the stack. Here is an example of when we sorted by how many blocks were snapped together.

4.) Adding and Subtraction
            Students will better understand the concept of adding and subtracting with these visuals. For addition, demonstrate how the tower gets taller and taller as you add blocks. Demonstrate subtraction by showing how the tower gets smaller and smaller as you take blocks away. These blocks make good manipulatives for students when adding and subtracting, too. They are small enough to use on a student desk, but large enough that students with fine motor delays can handle them.

5.) Sequencing numbers
            Place small white stickers on the sides of the blocks to give students another way to sequence numbers. You can target counting by ones, two, five, tens, etc. 

6.) Counting and making sets
            These snap blocks make great manipulatives when you teach how to count out or make sets. Add in fine motor skills by having students snap the blocks together while they count. Read more about this: 4 Ways To Teach Through Manipulatives. 

7.) More versus Less
           This can be a very abstract concept for students. Make it easier for students to understand by using snap blocks to practice identifying and demonstrating the concept. Here is how I practice the concepts with students using these blocks;

Teaching Reading With Snap Blocks

8.) Parts of a Story
            Snap blocks make great visuals and props when you work on retelling parts of a story. I typically use three blocks to represent begining, middle and end of a story. I have students touch the blocks one at a time as they retell the story.

9.) Spelling
           Have students who struggle with writing? Have them use snap blocks with letters on the sides to spell given words.  You could also have students put the blocks in alphabetic order.

10.) Sound segments
           Use these snap blocks to represent the sounds in a word. For example, have 3 blocks for the word bat. Students touch the first block as they say /b/, 2nd block represents /a/, etc. Here is another example:

You can also use these blocks to teach prepositions in a hands on way. Read more: 4 Ways To Teach Through Manipulatives. Once students are able to label and demonstrate prepositions through the use of blocks, move on to other visuals. These are the materials we use: Prepositions!

Visual Motor

11.) Copying a block design
           Being able to visually notice differences and alignment in the block design is a foundational skill. These are needed skills in order to copy from the board & notice differences in words or shapes. To practice, you could make a design with the blocks and have students recreate it. You could also have students position the blocks to look like a letter or sight word. So many options!

Don't forget to leave a comment with your favorite way to us snap blocks!

1 comment

  1. Might be one of the best tools that many teachers can use especially that they can still delivering the learning that their pupils need and would surely be loved by their pupils as well.