# Teacher Tool of the Month: Snap Blocks: Determining Equality™.

Since DreamBox released the first in our series of new free Teacher Tools last month we’ve had a remarkable interest in them, with hundreds of teachers using them in hundreds of lessons! The first in the series of DreamBox Teacher Tools we launched were the Quick Images: Identifying Amounts™ tools – a virtual mathrack, a tenframe, and a special tool invented by DreamBox called a Numbergram™ – which help students conceptualize numbers as groups and understand number relationships. We’ve also introduced the Open Number Line: Developing Number Sense™, which can be used to explore a range of mathematical ideas such as counting, skip counting, addition and subtraction, and modeling situations. Snap Blocks: Determining Equality™. And now we’ve released the next free Teacher Tool – Snap Blocks: Determining Equality™. Snap Blocks also were created by DreamBox, specifically to help students understand the meaning of the equal sign and the concept of equivalence. Using these virtual manipulatives rather than just clicking on an answer enhances student learning. DreamBox Learning’s Snap Blocks are a visual representation of numbers, which students can manipulate to compare the relationship between quantities, and explore the meaning of the equal sign and the concept of equality. They help students develop efficient computation strategies, providing an essential foundation for early algebra. Students will begin to make generalizations that inform their relational (algebraic) thinking by working with the numeric relationships between both sides of the equal sign. All of the free DreamBox Teacher Tools include access to the online tool and an introduction to the virtual manipulative itself. Teachers also get ideas for using it with stand-alone activities in the classroom, as a supplement to an existing math curriculum, or incorporated into a professional development program for teachers. Learn more about all of DreamBox’s math resources for teachers, then please tell us how you’re using them in your classroom!

### Thera Pearce

teacher | mother | learner | friend | Raleigh, NC

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