Many parents and teachers face a difficult dilemma. Research shows that children are finding it tough to learn math concepts during the pandemic. All the evidence points to 2020 as a year when many children will be falling behind in learning basic math.
The good news: there is a way to supplement students’ math instruction—and make it fun so kids will enjoy learning! It’s called Brick Math: Teaching Math Using LEGO® Bricks.
Brick Math incorporates the LEGO® bricks that kids love and uses them to teach elementary school math concepts in a fun and exciting way. But it’s not a gimmick—Brick Math is a serious learning method, backed up by research and rigorous testing.
Brick Math works as a supplement to other math curriculum because the program is modular. There are 11 different subjects covered in the program that spans grades K – 6:
Here’s how Brick Math works: Choose the subject area that your students need. For example, if they are having trouble understanding the idea of fractions, the Basic Fractions Using LEGO® Bricks books zero in on that topic. The Teacher Edition has all the lessons that can be taught by a teacher or parent, and the Student Edition is the work-along book for the student, with additional problems, chapter assessments, and a chart to track the student’s progress. The 250-piece Brick Set has all the bricks for every math subject, and basic LEGO® bricks work if you have them already.
Kids really enjoy learning with Brick Math. “My class will often choose doing more Brick Math rather than recess,” was a comment from a fourth-grade teacher. A homeschooling parent told us, “My son was struggling with understanding quarts, pints, and gallons until we tried Brick Math. He loves LEGO bricks, and now he builds and remembers math problems!”
For more information about how Brick Math works, visit BrickMath.com. You’ll find videos for students and teachers or parents, plus samples from each of the 11 subjects to help you decide which books are right for your students.
The Brick Math Lesson of the Month for December 2020 teaches students how to model decimals using LEGO® bricks. The system really helps students understand the meaning of decimals, because different-sized bricks represent tenths, hundredths, and thousandths.
To get the December 2020 lesson, and a new lesson each month, sign up here.
Try this with your students, at home or in the classroom (or in the virtual classroom). This system of representing decimals with bricks is a great way to reinforce the idea of decimals.
The lesson starts with the Teacher's Lesson Guide. All the steps for teaching students how to model several different decimals are included. The corresponding pages from the Student Workbook follow, with space for the student to write responses as well as draw the models they have built.
The illustration below shows, on the left, the brick model for the decimal 0.23, and on the right, a drawing of that same model.
Brick Math is a K-6 math curriculum that uses LEGO® bricks to model 11 different math subjects:
Counting, Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division, Basic Fractions, Basic Measurement, Fraction Multiplication, Fraction Division, Advanced Measurement and Geometry, and Decimals. It works well for homeschooling, math intervention, enrichment, and as a whole-school program. Materials are simple and are not shared between students. It adapts easily to online instruction.
If you teach math or have a student at home who is learning 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 student math test scores and hear what people who are using Brick Math have to say about the program.