# Unifix Cube Number Lines

Unifix Cubes are an excellent manipulative for primary grade children.  I use them in Kindergarten and Grade 1 for counting, comparing, and adding and subtracting.  The colors are bright and they’re nicely sized for small children.

I like Unifix cubes for addition and subtraction because by using two colors, you can model a problem, get the total, and still see the addends.  Using discrete objects can be frustrating– the counting can be laborious, a slight nudge can scatter your pieces,…you know how it is.

But Unifix cubes can be stuck together and you can see the two quantities that are put together, and see what happens when one is taken away.  In other words, Unifix cubes preserve both addends when used in two colors.

For subtraction problems, students can draw a “total line” across the number line to mark the Minuend (that’s the number we start with, if you’re much younger than I am),  remove the needed number of cubes, and count what’s left.

For missing-addend problems, students can place the number of cubes they’re given on the line starting at 0, draw the “total line” at the appropriate number, and then fill in with cubes of the other color.

At our school we bought Unifix cubes several years ago, and sorted them so that each classroom has two colors, enough for 20 cubes of each color for each 1st grader, and 10 for each kindergartener.  So each teacher can refer to two specific colors knowing that all students have them.

Below are links to downloadable files of number lines sized for Unifix Cubes.  For the most part, the 0-10 documents are used in K, and the 0-20 in Grade 1.   Print a test page and check the size first.  Printouts can vary a little in size depending on the software version and printer.  Email me about any problems.

The 0-10 lines are on a single sheet of paper in PDF, 3 number lines to a page.  I like to print them on cardstock when it’s available, laminate the full sheets, and then cut them into individual number lines.  There shouldn't be any issues with the sizing.

The 0-20 line is in a Word document and is written for 17” by 11” inch paper, 2 number lines to a page.  If the image isn't accurate, set the image size to Lock Aspect Ratio with a length of 14.70″.    A little trial and error may be required to get the size exactly right.