Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ: Purchasing

Please see take a look at the Purchasing Guide.

For Intervention each group of 4 students needs one, “4 Block + Materials Pack Add-On”. This includes 4 sets of Bond Blocks and all other materials such as write-and-wipe sleeves.

For Mental Maths a class of 24 students would need one, “12 Block + Materials Pack Add-On”. Most of the activities are designed for pairs. For individual activities students can take turns.

You can but a cheaper and more flexible option is:

Purchase one, “Core Intervention Kit”. This caters for 4 students.

Then purchase one,  “Activity Boards – Whole School License Add-On”. This is a one-off purchase that provides you with the pdfs of every activity board to print and the license for every teacher to do the same for evert student in your school.

Then purchase one, 4 Block + Materials Pack Add On. This will provide the 4 extra sets of Bond Blocks and other materials such as write-and-wipe sleeves to make up your kit work for a group of 8 students.

Doing this gives you flexibility in the future to:

(i) Involve more students in Intervention by adding on more 4 Students Packs.

(ii) Introduce Bond Blocks into Mental Maths in Years 1 to 3 by adding on the required number of student packs.

Firstly, this is fantastic and will yield the highest results for the most numbers of students.

Purchase:

One “Core Intervention Kit”.

One “Activity Boards – Whole School License Add-On”. This is a one-off purchase. No ongoing subscription!

“Block + Material Pack Add-Ons” for each class. A class of 24 students would need one, “12 Block + Materials Pack Add-On” . Most of the activities are designed for pairs. For individual activities students can take turns.

We suggest that you introduce the change gradually, one year at a time.

In the first year purchase the “Core Intervention Kit”. Get used to the system by working with small groups of 4 students at a time.

In the second year purchase the “Whole School License” and enough “Block + Material Pack Add-Ons for the Year 1 students.

In the third year purchase enough “Block + Materials Pack Add-Ons” for the Year 2 students.

In the fourth year purchase enough “Block + Materials Pack Add-Ons”  for the Year 3 students.

In the fifth year compare data from your Year 3 students (who have had three years of Bond Blocks) with the previous Year 3s who did not go through the program!

Download the purchasing guide using the shop link at the top of this page for more information.

Yes. When small schools purchase the Core Intervention Kit (which usually has a license for one teacher and their students) we extend the license so activity boards can be photocopied by every teacher, for every student in the school. Photocopies of the activity boards can also be sent home. Parents can access the instructional videos through the website – no logon needed. Perfect for remote learning.

Yes.

You can purchase the Bond Blocks Basic Set. This includes one set of wooden blocks and the “Out of the Box” book. The book is an easy-to-read introduction for parents. It contains examples of activities you can do with just one set of Bond Blocks. The activities focus on mathematics from counting through to addition and subtraction with two-digit numbers.

If your child’s school has purchased Bond Blocks Core Intervention Kit they have the license to send home the activity boards for you to do at home with your child. Each activity is numbered and has a matching webpage. This webpage contains an instructional video and explains the mathematics and related mathematical language. You have access to this. The website does not require a logon.

Yes. Send Narelle email by clicking the “Make An Inquiry” button on the homepage. She’d love to help a fellow homeschooler.

Yes, very soon! I am in the process of finalising two books that will fit your context.

“Counting to 10 with Bond Blocks” (Kindergarten which is Pre-Foundation)

“Counting to 20 with Bond Blocks” (Pre-Primary which is Foundation)

This series of two books is written for teachers of Kindergarten and Pre-Primary. Each book outlines how to develop a robust understanding of, and fluency with, counting using Bond Blocks.

The books are organised into four sections:

  1. Teaching theory including using a Concrete-Representational-Approach.
  2. Assessment for whole class and individual students.
  3. Teacher led, explicit instruction which is balanced with
  4. Student led, exploratory learning using Bond Blocks with A4 task cards.

They will be ready early 2022.

No, but Yes!

The Bond Blocks Core Intervention Kit would not be suitable for your context. It focuses on Year 1 to 3 curriculum.

However, I am in the process of finalizing two books that will fit your context:

“Counting to 10 with Bond Blocks” suitable for Pre-Foundation level.

“Counting to 20 with Bond Blocks” suitable for Foundation level.

They will be ready early 2022. You will be able to adjust these activities to suit your students’ profiles.

FAQ: Using Bond Blocks

Please don’t hesitate to get in contact if you still have questions. 

For Intervention students need four, 8 minute sessions a week.

Session 1: Introduce the activity.

Session 2 and 3: Repeat the activity to develop fluency.

Session 4: Repeat an activity from an earlier part of the program to monitor retention and maintain fluency.

For Mental Maths in Years 1 to 3 you need three, 8 minutes sessions a week.

Bond Blocks Year 1 requires a minimum of 25 weeks to complete.

Bond Blocks Year 2 requires a minimum of 31 weeks to complete.

Bond Blocks Year 3 requires a minimum of 19 weeks to complete.

For more information read the Implementation Guide

As soon as possible. We recommend starting from Year 1.

At the start of Year 1 select students who demonstrated difficulty in Foundation Year testing (such as On-Entry in WA) with questions such:

  • Recognizing numerals
  • Matching quantities to written numerals
  • Subitising collections of 1-6 items
  • Principles of counting
  • Identifying numbers before and after for numbers up to 20

In Year 2 and 3 give the Bond Block Test to students who had difficulty meeting, or did not meet, the year level achievement standard. Begin Intervention with these students using the relevant chapter of Bond Block activities.

Bond Blocks was written for Intervention with students who have learning difficulties in mind. There are three Teacher Note documents written outlining how Bond Blocks supports students with:

(i) Specific Learning Difficulties in Mathematics (Dyscalculia). See “Developing Calculation, Not Counting.”

(ii) Working Memory Difficulties. See “Using Part-Part-Whole Desk Visuals”.

(iii) Learning Difficulties. See “Supporting Students with Learning Difficulties”.

Yes, but adjustments will need to be made.

One strength of Bond Blocks for special education is that each activity is modelled in a video with explicit teaching, specified mathematical language and consistent teaching methods. Students receive consistent teaching from both the teacher and education assistants, as well as from year to year.

As with all interventions fidelity is the key to success. However, this does not mean adjustments should not be made. The teacher will choose activities and modify them based on the profile of the individual student.

Every activity has differentiation suggestions. Read the “a little easier” section of each activity’s webpage.

One major adjustment to be made is time:

  • Tier 3 students need to do Bond Blocks at least 4 times a week, 5 is better. This allows for 4 days of repeating the target activity and 1 day to review a prior activity to maintain fluency.
  • The sessions would be longer. Instead of 8 min they would be 20min (excluding breaks for concentration and regulation). Tier 3 students require increased time.
  • Instead of one activity being repeated over one week the activity would be broken into smaller skills, typically two or three. For example, receptive and then expressive skills. Each skill would be repeated for one week. Therefore, each activity board would take approximately 3 weeks not one.

Yes. There are many students from Year 4 through to secondary school who still count to add and subtract. These students have missed building a robust understanding of the addition and subtraction curriculum from Years 1 to 3 covered by the Core Intervention Kit.

We designed the kit with these students in mind. Very few of the boards contain artistic images. We made sure that images that were included not childish.

The placement test means that older student can identify specifically what maths they have missed out on developing and can target that.

If you purchased the kit from bondblocks.com/drpaulswan the downloads will have been added to your Dr Paul Swan account. Please email us if you have any problems.

If you purchased from a reseller such as MAWA or Abacus Educational Suppliers they will have provided you with the downloads.

Every curriculum content descriptor in addition and subtraction, including related pre-algebra and word questions, from Year 1 to Year 3.

Students move (i) from counting, (ii) to additive thinking, which includes subtraction, (iii) and then to multiplicative thinking. Without a solid foundation in addition and subtraction everything else built on this will be compromised.

Students who do not have a solid foundation with addition and subtraction, for example those who still count to add or subtract, are at mathematically risk. We wanted to provide solid early intervention.

Also, addition is the mathematics most used in the adult world (outside of mathematics that is work related) so wanted to build capacity in this essential area.

Yes. The wooden sets of Bond Blocks can be used for lots of maths from counting to multiplication and division. The 2cm ratio of the blocks was chosen considering upper primary and lower secondary maths including investigations into area, volume, square and cubic numbers. Bond Blocks can also be used for patterning and algebra including linear equations.

However, the Activity Boards for the Core Intervention Kit only deal with addition and subtraction. We are hoping this is just the start of the Bond Blocks journey!

Great question. Click to open link in a new tab and read the pdf “Is the Bond Blocks System Evidence Based?”