Sumboxes – Unique Monthly Math Subscription Service
Math Grade Levels K-5
By Joseph Grayhaim
Sumboxes is a unique math game subscription service that sends a box containing two new math games to a subscriber family each month for a very reasonable price. The instructions, necessary game pieces, plastic storage bag and game boards are all included in each sturdy storage box. The parent or teacher reads the simple game rules and instructions and then proceeds to put the game into motion. The flip side of the game instructions contains facts about the math concepts being addressed in the game and ways to assess the student’s understanding of those concepts. There are also sample questions designed to initiate conversations among the players about the math concepts. Each game is designed by experienced educators to give children exposure to all math functions over the life of the subscription and achieve comfort with all of the math functions.
Sumboxes is the brain-child of Judy Keeney, an educator with over 20 years’ experience as a classroom teacher, curriculum developer, adjunct college professor and an educational consultant to schools nationwide. Her daughter, Sam, listened to Judy dreaming of a way to help parents and teachers give students the all-important grounding in math that Sumboxes provides. So together the mother-daughter team, along with the help of a close family friend, launched the business in 2017. Now, they are fulfilling Judy’s dream of offering affordable math resources to families and teachers.
Here is an overview of one of the Sumboxes games, Fill It Up.
This game consists of two 8” x 10” heavy card stock playing boards, with 22 rectangles drawn on each one, numbered 0 to 18 and 3 rectangles labeled dominoes that do not fit. These rectangles are the same size as the high-quality, heavy plastic, colored dominoes that are the playing pieces. There are two sides – either two individual players or two teams. Each side is given a game board and they share a set of double nine dominoes, which are placed face down. Side #1 chooses a domino and turns it over, revealing colored dots. The team or player adds the dots on both sides to find the sum and then subtracts the smaller set of dots from the larger set of dots on the domino to find the difference. Next, the team or player decides whether to use the sum or the difference, and places the domino in the corresponding space on its game board. Side #2 then takes its turn and repeats the process. Play continues like this until one side turns over a domino and the spaces for both the sum and the difference are already filled. This domino is then placed in the space on the game board labeled dominoes that do not fit. That side’s turn is now over. The first side to fill all 0 – 18 spaces on its game board wins; however, if a side draws 3 dominoes that do not fit before this happens, that side automatically loses.
This game provides:
- Practice with Addition and Subtraction
- Thinking mathematically – choosing which operation to use to fill the rectangle
- Hands on motor skills in placing the dominoes
The fact that the brain creates a new synapse relative to new information in 10-12 repetitions during a play activity (as opposed to 400 repetitions for a non-play learning atmosphere), makes Sumboxes’ monthly game approach powerful and valuable to your child’s basic math knowledge and understanding.
A subscriber family can start or cancel Sumboxes at any time by going to the website and following the simple steps, to either begin the subscription, pause for a month or two, or cancel it altogether. It is completely flexible and convenient. Visit www.sumboxes.com today to see how this monthly box of math can fit into your family’s curriculum and encourage your child to explore critical math concepts through play. J.G.