About Beat Dyscalculia – What is a Stringalong?

What is a stringalong?

A stringalong is a physical representation of a particular number.  (What number or numbers have you got?) They are designed to help children learn in a fun way, combining visual, physical and auditory learning to play to their individual strengths and learning styles. Each stringalong can be used on its own or with other stringalongs to demonstrate basic mathematical concepts and build good foundations for learning.  The cubes can be manipulated along the strings to show different things and help children explore, understand, visualise and remember.  A zero stringalong is particularly useful!

discoveryWhy is my stringalong coloured?

Each coloured string corresponds to a number in the Beat Dyscalculia multi-sensory programme and each cube represents a unit.   We use the colours of the rainbow to help children identify and remember each number.  The cubes themselves aren’t coloured to show that each unit is the same.

How many ways can a stringalong be used?

Stringalongs can be used in at least 10 different ways as part of our structured multi-sensory numeracy programme.  Why don’t you try them for yourself (and let us know if you come up with any other ideas!).  These are:

  1. Odd and Even Numbers – put all the cubes in the middle and then try and move them 1 at a time so that you have the same number at each end.  If you end up with 1 cube left in the middle it’s an odd number and if you can divide them equally between both ends, it’s an even number.

  2. Addition – divide the cubes on your stringalong into 2 and then add the 2 numbers together by counting them and pushing them together again.  For example, if you have a 5 stringalong, split the cubes into groups of 2 and 3 and then add them together to make 5.  If you have more than 1 stringalong you can tie them together to add them.  For example, if you have a 2 stringalong and a 3 stringalong, you can tie them together and then count the cubes to make 5.

  3. Subtraction – you can do subtraction by doing the reverse of addition above – i.e. again with a 5 stringalong, you can do the sum 5-3 by moving 3 cubes to 1 end of the string and counting how many cubes you have left.

  4. Number Bonds – split the cubes on your stringalong into as many different number pairs as you can.

  5. Multiplication – with a 6 stringalong you can demonstrate that 3 lots of 2 make 6 or 2 lots of 3 make 6.

  6. Division – as multiplication, above.

  7. Remainders – as with odd and even, you can demonstrate that when you divide some numbers you are left with a remainder.

  8. Bigger Numbers – you can use multiple stringalongs, including 10 stringalongs (silver strings) to can show the difference between ‘teen’ and ‘ty’ numbers.  For example, thirteen with be a 10 and a 3, whereas thirty will be 3 lots of 10 stringalongs.

  9. Essential Vocabulary – a set of stringalongs can be used to help teach measuring and vocabulary such as short, shorter, shortest, long, longer, longest.

  10. Co-ordination and Motor Skills – constructing the stringalongs can help with co-ordination and motor skills, following instructions, distinguishing left and right and vertical and horizontal.

How Do I Find Out More?

pack1Stringalongs are just one of the items in our Beat Dyscalculia packs, which use a combination of workbooks, songs, poems, stories, and specially designed tools and resources.  These all work together using the same structure, colours and concepts, to create a ‘complete multi-sensory maths programme in a box’.

Our Pupil Premium special offers allow you to create a package of training and boxes to suit your school and needs for the cost of a Pupil Premium, Summer School Premium, or Year 7 Catch-Up Premium.  Find out more about our Primary School special offers here, and our Secondary School special offers here.  

To find out more about the packs and what’s included, take a look at How To Buy, or contact us on 01943 871902, c.stone@addacus.co.uk.

Beat Dyscalculia can be used to teach numeracy to children of all ages and abilities, but is specifically designed as an intervention programme for children in Key Stage 1 and 2 who are struggling with the core curriculum.  It is particularly effective for those with dyscalculia, dyslexia and autism.  It has also been used with children in Key Stage 3 who are working below the expected levels.  To find out more about our programme and how it works, take a look at What is Beat Dyscalculia?

The programme and all the resources have been created by Celia Stone and Myra Nicholson, who are both teachers with over 50 years’ experience of teaching children with special needs and two of the co-creators of Beat Dyslexia.  To find out more about them, take a look at About Us.