If only the parents of English Class first graders had been able to see the excitement expressed by their children when, the day after a first grade parents’ evening, the first graders found specially decorated decomposing machines on their tables! The children were delighted! The machines were put to good use immediately in math class where the children carefully broke down numbers into all their possible their addends. The goal is for pupils to understand how numbers work, how numbers can be broken apart and put back together in different ways. They need to be able to think flexibly about numbers and apply that flexibility to addition and subtraction.