Center Goal: The education center was conceived with the desire to provide monthly support programs to teachers and to also provide monthly distribution of teacher inputs on the various types, use, and, benefits of manipulatives in the classroom.
Center Objectives: In an effort to support the “primary goal” ImagAbility will strive to provide categorized listings of activities and programs by grade level and/or age range, assist teachers around the world to share with other teachers their valuable ideas, tools and/or programs developed around WEDGITS™and other manipulatives used in their classrooms.
Center Format:ImagAbility will develop programs and support tools, as well as, host teacher supplied inputs and post teacher generated graphics that demonstrate techniques they feel offer the most creative teaching assistance based on manipulative use. These programs, inputs, graphics, and techniques will be listed under “Educators”. All information sent to the Educators’ Center can be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to:
PO Box 540
El Dorado CA 95623
Please provide submission information for posting acknowledgment. Your submission to email@example.com authorizes ImagAbility Incorporated to post images and/or related text to this website. ImagAbility retains the right to post submitted materials in a manner supportive of educational values.
Educators’ Download Center
Click On The Links For Files To Downloads Relating To The Activity:
Drip, Drip, Drop
This demonstration will give children a visual understanding of how oxygen and hydrogen molecules bond together to form water. Many fifth and sixth grade science books have units on molecules. When covering that material, use WEDGITS™ to help the children understand the concept.
Ask the students if they know how water is formed, or what makes up each drop of water. Responses can be listed on the board. (Some students may mention chemicals, pollutions or other environmental issues. This can lead to a whole lesson on protecting our environment.)
After a reasonable amount of discussion, tell the students that water is made up of two hydrogen molecules. Hold up two green WEDGITS™ pieces (for Class-Pak use small rhombus blocks of any color) explaining that we will use these pieces to represent the hydrogen molecules. Hydrogen molecules are attracted to an oxygen molecule.
Hold up the red WEDGITS™ piece (for Class-Pak use giant rhombus blocks of any color). When these molecules meet, they bond together to form water. Use a blue rhombus (for Class-Pak use large rhombus blocks of any color) to bond the molecules together (how to lock WEDGITS™ together is demonstrated in the Activity Guide). After locking the pieces together, you can hold up the model and move it to represent falling rain.
WEDGiTS Jumping Frog
Learn to build the jumping frog and teach it too! Gently squeeze the legs together to make your frog hop. Techniques including WEDGING and ANCHORING. Build alone or in a group with a 30 piece set.
Extras for Special Needs and Therapists
By: Christy Yee
Tired of tanograms? Bored of blocks? Looking for something new to stimulate learning? WEDGITS are the versatile, safe, easy to clean, easy to store, construction toy perfect for your therapy practice. WEDGITS can be utilized to work on a variety of skills including, constructional praxis, visual motor integration, bilateral coordination, hand strength, sequencing, problem solving, following directions, visual perceptual skills, pre-writing skills, cooperative learning, and self esteem. WEDGITS are easily modified to work with children as young as 2 years old, yet versatile enough to captivate older children and adults.
Read on to learn how WEDGITS can become one of your most important (and favorite) therapy tools.
WEDGITS are geometrically symmetrical blocks that nest together. They can be built into a variety of shapes and designs. Size of blocks ranges from 1 inch to 6 inches and designs are versatile enough to build intricate designs with older children and adults and simpler shapes with younger children. Three, four, five, and six inch blocks have a center opening, so children with compromised hand use can pick up and move/stack blocks to create fantastic designs. WEDGITS can be utilized to work on all three stages of praxis, Ideation (formulating an idea), Planning (how will I build my idea), and Motor Execution (building the idea).
VISUAL MOTOR INTEGRATION SKILLS:
Building with WEDGITS requires the eyes and hands to work together, motivating visual attention and visual motor control from the builder. Build a model first and work on Design Copy skills, as your client tries to reproduce your design. It’s easy to start simple by grading the amount and sizes of blocks used and increase difficulty as improvement is noted.
WEDGITS are a two-handed interactive toy. Most designs/shapes require one hand (non-dominant if established) to stabilize one block, while other blocks are built in or around the first. The variety in sizes can help you grade the amount of work required by the stabilizing hand and can be graded easier for clients with one-sided involvement (brachial plexus injuries, burns, hemiplegia, and other neurological disorders).
WEDGITS have a unique feature, the ability to wedge (lock in one piece by wedging smaller pieces on either side). Wedging requires finger strength in the fair to good range with larger pieces easier to wedge than smaller. Amount of strength required can easily be graded by the size of the blocks and amount of wedging required by the design. For those with less than fair hand strength, grading can be easily accomplished by the amount of assistance given.
Copying a design from the design booklet (included) or Color Design Cards (sold separately) will help improve internal organizational skills and sequencing ability. The Color Design Cards specify the level of difficulty of each design. Each card is two-sided with one side in color and the other in black and white to encourage shape and size recognition without the aide of color-coding. Or make your own model and have the client copy from your three dimensional example.
WEDGITS intrinsically work on problem solving ability, whether you’re making a design of your own idea or copying from a design card. Some designs require the placement of smaller pieces, underneath a larger block, as support. These smaller pieces are not always showing, requiring deductive reasoning skills to determine how to make the design as pictured.
WEDGITS are a great way to work on listening skills, math skills, color recognition, and directional concepts (“on top of”, “below”, “next to”, “in front of”, “behind”). Verbally direct the building of your own design or one from the design cards or design booklet. Grade this activity by the amount and type of directions. “Place a large red block on top of one blue block” or “place smallest shape inside largest shape.” Now turn the activity around, have the client articulate to you how to correctly build one of the designs from the design cards.
VISUAL PERCEPTUAL SKILLS:
Copying WEDGITS designs from the design cards or booklet requires the ability to translate a two dimensional picture into a three dimensional sculpture. Now you can work on figure-ground (the ability to pick out one block from a competing background), form consistency (the block stays the same size, no matter its orientation), and visual closure (picking the correct size block, though the block is partially hidden by other blocks) skills.
WEDGITS can assist a child to learn to color in the lines (a pre-requisite to writing between the lines). Place a larger WEDGiTS block on a piece of paper and have the child color inside. Bumping into the sides of the WEDGiTS block provides better feedback as to the boundaries of “inside” making the task more meaningful. Changing the orientation of the block on the paper can assist a child in learning to draw squares and diamonds. Trace a three-inch block orientated as a diamond shape next to a four-inch block with the same orientation, remove blocks and add features to make a fish. Using these blocks with a diagonal orientation can encourage the integration of diagonal lines, necessary to correctly form many letters of the print alphabet.
The more the merrier! WEDGITS are a learning tool that can be utilized both individually and in groups. Have several children building their own designs, while sharing a common pile of WEDGITS or take turns building one of the designs from the design card/booklets each child adding one block. Form teams and have smaller groups build original designs.
No matter what the ability level, WEDGITS always turn into something unique and wonderful. Whether a simple or complex design, there is no wrong way to build with WEDGITS !