Frequently Asked Questions
Please see take a look at the Purchasing Guide.
For Maths 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.
Purchase one, “Core Kit”. This caters for 4 students for Intervention.
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.
Firstly, this is fantastic and will yield the highest results for the most numbers of students.
One “Core Kit”.
One “Activity Boards – Whole School Licence 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 Kit”. Get used to the system starting with Maths Intervention working with groups of 4 students at a time.
In the second year purchase the “Activity Boards Whole School Licence Add-On” and enough “Block + Material Pack Add-Ons“ for Mental Maths with Year 1 students .
In the third year purchase enough “Block + Materials Pack Add-Ons” for Mental Maths with the Year 2 students.
In the fourth year purchase enough “Block + Materials Pack Add-Ons” for Mental Maths with 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 Kit (which usually has a licence for one teacher and their students) we extend the licence to the whole school. The activity boards can be photocopied by every teacher, for every student in the school. You do not need to purchase the Activity Boards Whole School Licence.
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.
When small schools that only have one split-level class of Pre-Foundation/Foundation purchase Counting to 10/20 with Bond Blocks Single Kit (personal licence) we extend this licence to the whole school. This means every student in the school working at this level, and their teachers, can use these resources.
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 Kit they have the licence 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. Narelle wanted to help fellow homeschoolers so we made “Bond Blocks at Home”. The activity boards are the same as Core Kit that schools use but have a slightly different look to draw attention to their limited licence (these boards cannot be used by schools). “Bond Blocks at Home” also only comes with one set of blocks, not four.
“Counting to 10 with Bond Blocks” (which is Pre-Foundation)
“Counting to 20 with Bond Blocks” (which is Foundation)
No, but Yes!
The Bond Blocks Core Kit would not be suitable for your context. It focuses on Year 1 to 3 curriculum.
However, “Counting to 10 with Bond Blocks” is suitable for Pre-Foundation level and is linked to ABLEWA and Victorian Curriculum Levels A to D.
“Counting to 20 with Bond Blocks” suitable for Foundation level.
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 Maths Intervention students need four, 10 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 approximately three, 8 minutes sessions a week.
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 Years 2 to 6 give the Bond Block Test to students who had difficulty meeting, or did not meet, the year level achievement standard. Begin Maths Intervention with these students using the relevant chapter of Bond Block activities.
Bond Blocks was written for Maths Intervention with students who have learning difficulties in mind. There are three Teacher Notes 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.
- 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 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, can set goals and 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.
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 Kit only deal with addition and subtraction. We are hoping this is just the start of the Bond Blocks journey!