Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Review: Keva Brain Builders


Did you know that Oriental Trading is affiliated with a site that has mind & brain-building toys?! Yes, the Oriental Trading that is often used to buy party favors, pencils, and holiday crafts. I was ecstatic when Mindware contacted me asking if I'd like a sample of some of their fabulous products. The first one that I tried out in my classroom are these Brain Builders by Keva. And I must say, I was impressed and my kids are having the time of their life during math centers.

These Brain Builders by Keva are my new favorite quick math center. I use them now for math centers since we started our geometry unit. These Brain Builders are available from Mindware for $14.99.The purpose of the Brain Builders it to turn 2D models into 3D models.



I try to include lots of hands-on and interactive materials in math centers, so these definitely fit the bill. These use all parts of a child’s brain! They show a picture of what the structure should look like from the front, side, and top. There is a solution on the back showing what the finished structure should look like. The cards go from a beginning to expert level. It’s funny – so many of my high flyers grab an expert card first, and then move back down to intermediate. These are tough! However, the kids LOVE the challenge. Since I teach in a gifted, self-contained classroom, many of my kids break down from a challenge, they just aren’t used to it. Although we constantly discuss a growth mindset, many kids still can’t quite handle the stress of difficult math centers. The opposite is true with the Keva BrainBuilders. They love the challenge, and actually collaborate and cooperate incredibly well!



 These things are tough, but the kids are so excited when they finish one of the puzzles! We take photos on SeeSaw, or I take a picture with my phone to upload to our class Twitter page.

Although I use them in math for all the kids, they would work well as an early finisher station, or during a chunk of time put aside for STEM. Focus on those engineering and building skills while having fun!


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