The Dick System Mosaic Cards provide children in Key Stage 1 with mathematical experiences and an opportunity to learn about colours, patterns shapes and numbers. The 34 different cards are designed to help young children improve their spatial visualisation skills. The cards also provide children with the opportunity to strengthen their visual memory and recognition skills.
In this set you will find 34 activity cards with pictures, designs and patterns illustrated in 10 bright colours, namely red, pink, orange, yellow, light-green, dark-green, blue, brown, black and white. The cards are designed to be used with the 2cm interlocking Dick System Maths Cubes.
Free Exploration. Give children time to become familiar with the cubes. They should be allowed free play before being directed to specific tasks. The teacher should make sure the children are able to snap the cubes together and apart. When allowing free play do ask the children to re-state what they intend to construct and note whether the child achieves the stated objective.
Using the Mosaic Cards
Organisation. The 34 designs are grouped by topic and increase in difficulty within each topic. However teachers themselves can readily alter the degree of difficulty when setting the task. For cards 1 a child could be asked simply to match the appropriate cubes onto the card or, the child could be asked to reproduce the picture alongside the card. Rather than having free access to a box of cubes the child could be asked to look at the card and then select the number and colour of cubes required to complete the design. Children with good visual memories could be given time to look at the card and then be asked to reproduce the design from memory.
Contents of cards 1-34. Cards 1-8 depict representations of everyday things, such as a bird, house and boat. The early cards require the use of just 2 colours whereas the house on card 8 involves the use of 6 colours. Cards 9-12 feature linear aab, abc, abbcc and aabbcc colour patterns. Cards 13-20 contain symmetric patterns formed by translations, reflections or rotations. Cards 21-24 form letters in the alphabet and cards 25 and 26 show the numbers 1-9 as they are displayed on a calculator. Cards 27-32 concentrate on the numbers 6-10 and their associated sets and number bonds. Cards 33 and 34 may be used to focus on different sized rectangles or counting in twos and finding the first five square numbers.
Extensions and Challenges. Once the children have achieved the obvious task required by the card, they should be given tasks that extend the initial activity. In addition to the tasks already suggested for the early cards, children should be asked to make a simple design of their own using no more than 10 cubes. Stress they are not allowed to put cubes on top of each other only beside. Challenge them to draw a plan of their design so a friend could construct the shape. For the cards on symmetry ask them to consider whether the design is symmetrical in both shape and colour. Challenge them to make a design of their own which has two lines of symmetry or one that has only rotational symmetry.