The results of national testing are in. Math scores for 13-year-olds are down by 9 points since just before the start of the pandemic. For lower-performing students, declines are even larger: 12-14 points.
The NAEP’s Long-Term Trend Assessment for Mathematics looked at the math performance of 13-year-olds across the US in 2020 and again in 2023. In every region of the country, and in every gender and racial group, students have declined in their math performance.
According to Peggy Carr, commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics, the pandemic accelerated the math decline, virtually wiping out the performance gains students made from the 1970s to 2020.
How do educators help students turn this around so kids can start building math success during the K-8th grade years? Brick Math is a solution that has been shown to increase test scores and improve students’ mathematical knowledge base. It’s a complete K-8 curriculum that teaches math by modeling math with LEGO® bricks. It’s fun to learn and easy to teach!
The 13 math subjects in the Brick Math curriculum start with Counting and Cardinality for the earliest learners and go through Pre-Algebra (typically taught in late middle school). Students and teachers can start at any point in the curriculum. The materials are simple and very affordable:
In-person and online professional development is available for schools that want to fast-track the program into their curriculum.
The 13 subjects in Brick Math include:
Grades K - 2:
Dr. Shirley Disseler, author of the Brick Math series, developed the concept after years of working with LEGO® Education. “I wanted to use LEGO® bricks to teach the basics of the math curriculum. It’s the perfect manipulative for teaching students the why behind the math to help them develop true mathematical understanding.”
Students and teachers around the world are using Brick Math: as a whole-school curriculum, for students who are struggling to learn math, and for gifted education. The program aligns with state and national standards and is based on research from the most respected educators in the field. Homeschoolers are also using Brick Math with great success.
The Brick Math FREE Lesson of the Month for August 2023, "Absolute Value," is from our brand-new book, Pre-Algebra Using LEGO® Bricks. It's a great way to demonstrate the meaning of absolute value when you begin to introduce the concept. To get the August 2023 Brick Math Lesson of the Month, "Absolute Value," plus a new lesson each month, click here. Each Lesson of the Month includes the Teacher Lesson Guide as well as the Student Workbook pages that correspond to the lesson.
The lesson demonstrates absolute value using a number line built from bricks. Each stud represents a number, with a blue 1x1 brick in the center of the line to represent zero. Green bricks represent positive values on the number line, and red bricks represent negative values. The lesson teaches the vocabulary of absolute value, showing the "integer value" of numbers. Once students understand the concept of absolute value, they can move on to performing arithmetic operations with them.
Brick Math is a K-8 math curriculum that uses LEGO® bricks to model 13 different math subjects:
Counting, Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division, Basic Fractions, Basic Measurement, Fraction Multiplication, Fraction Division, Advanced Measurement and Geometry, Decimals, Data and Statistics, and Pre-Algebra.
Data and Statistics and Pre-Algebra expand the Brick Math curriculum to include grades 7 - 8. Brick Math works in many applications: for homeschooling, math intervention, enrichment, and as a whole-school program. Materials are simple and affordable.
If you are a math teacher or a parent with a student at home who is learning K-8th grade math, check brickmath.com. The website includes videos for both teacher training and direct instruction of students. You can learn more about how Brick Math improves students' math test scores and hear what people who are using Brick Math have to say about the program.