Over the past year, teachers in my school have been using the Izak 9 Maths resource. The hands on kit and online resources have proven to be a hit among staff and students within the school.
What is Izak 9
Izak 9 takes the form of a box of 27 colourful cubes accompanied by an online support area of tasks and questions most suitable for children between the ages of 8 and 14. These colourful cubes are large, lightweight and easy for students to work with in small groups. Izak 9 has been designed by Irish teachers with the Irish curriculum and the many challanges it faces kept in mind. On noticing a trend of de-motivation and engagement in Maths from students in early secondary education, the founders of Izak 9 designed this resource to be fun and engaging.
The Cubes have different numbers, colours, shapes and patterns on each face and it is these variations that can be used to create very interesting problems and tasks for students to work on. The size and scale of the kit makes group work easy and so encourages child centred learning and peer-to-peer collaboration and problem solving. There are a vast array of tasks and activities ranging from somewhat easy to very advanced. What really makes this resource so appealing is its supporting online resources. Two characters guide students through the task with examples, hints and colourful graphics to help along the way.
What does a task look like?
Click on this link (Izak 9 demo video) to see what an Izak 9 task looks like and how the two characters guide you through the activity.
Previously, I have used Izak 9 with 3rd class students and found that they really enjoyed it and could manage the first few tasks. Older grades like 5th and 6th class in primary or 1st and 2nd year students at second level would really benefit from this resource.
Izak 9 provides a shared learning environment rich in PROBLEM SOLVING, REASONING and FLUENCY, where pupils can develop TEAM WORK and RESILIENCE.
some key skills I have seen being used by children while carrying out these tasks are:
- collaboration skills
- critical thinking and computational thinking skills
- pattern recognition
- mathematical language development
Purchasing Izak 9
I would highly recommend teachers try out Izak 9. It is available to book from a number of different education centres and it requires a deposit to obtain (which is returned after). There is evidence from university studies that supports Izak 9 as a resource for encouraging and promoting mathematical skills development and interest in Maths for students. To find out more about purchasing Izak 9 for your school click on this link.