The second edition of Basic Fractions Using LEGO® Bricks has just been published! This edition has even more ways to teach students about fractions than before. The first edition of Teaching Fractions Using LEGO® Bricks was the very first book written in the 22book Brick Math series. Author Dr. Shirley Disseler went back to this bestselling book and thought it was time for an update. The second edition has lots of new illustrations of the brick models as well as several new chapters with content that was not included in the original book. Here's what's new in this second edition:
Right now, until December 15, the Brick Math FREE Lesson of the Month is from the Basic Fractions book, and it shows how to teach students to compare and order fractions, using the fantastic "fraction train" method. To download the free lesson, click here.
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What do you do when you want to try an innovative curriculum like Brick Math, but your school doesn’t have the budget for it? Look for a grant! A number of orders for Brick Math curriculum and materials have been funded from grants. Many foundations that fund grants for educational programs, materials, and professional development target STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math). Here’s a list of some grants you can apply for if you’re interested in funding for Brick Math:
And each state has its own grants; for example, this one in North Carolina: Bright Ideas Educational Grants http://www.ncbrightideas.com/Home.aspx Find grants in your state at this site: https://grantsalert.com/grants/ We’ll be happy to help you figure out what you need for your classroom or school when you’re writing your grant for Brick Math. Just contact neil@brickmathseries.com or call 8027518802. Hi, Texas and California! Welcome to Brick Math! The Brick Math phenomenon is spreading across the country. Brick Math is the exciting new program for teaching a complete K6 curriculum using LEGO® bricks. School districts around the country are setting Brick Math up as an approved vendor. Brick Math has recently become an approved vendor for the North East Independent School District in San Antonio, Texas, which also extends to the Judson, Northside, and San Antonio Independent School Districts. In the Houston area, Brick Math was approved as a vendor for the Aldine Independent School District, which also extends to more than 40 school districts in the Central Texas Purchasing Alliance (CTPA). Brick Math was also approved as a vendor for the Klein Independent School District in Klein, Texas, which is in the Houston area as well. In California, we’ve recently become an approved vendor of the Compass Charter Schools, which provide online and home study school services for kids in that state, often serving child actors, athletes, and students from military families. When a school or district wants to buy Brick Math, sometimes we need to become an approved vendor. This happens in a couple of ways:
If your school wants to purchase Brick Math but we aren’t part of your school or district’s approved vendor network yet, it’s easy for us to become part of that list. Just contact neil@brickmathseries.com and he’ll make that happen so your school can get started with Brick Math! Brick Math is an approved vendor in a number of school districts in North Carolina, New Jersey, and South Carolina. We might already be approved in your district, too. If you're not sure, contact neil@brickmathseries.com to find out. We look forward to being approved as a vendor by many more school districts to help more students improve their math skills through Brick Math. New research shows that Brick Math: Teaching Math Using LEGO® Bricks is very successful as an elementary math teaching tool. Two important findings emerged from this study: 1. Students make dramatic improvements in test scores 2. Students are highly engaged with the Brick Math method of learning The research confirms that when students are engaged with the material, they are more likely to learn it fully. And students are fully engaged with the handson Brick Math program. Here's what the study showed: 1,400 K5 students in North Carolina and New Jersey were taught using Brick Math in these six content areas:
The results: Brick Math engages students fully, and it achieves powerful learning growth! When a child plays a game where they give some things and keep others, they are starting to learn subtraction. But when they begin to learn subtraction in school, it can be tricky. Building models of subtraction with LEGO® bricks is a great way to show students how subtraction works. The Brick Math: Teaching Math Using LEGO® Bricks program utilizes the bricks as a manipulative for demonstrating the action of the math. Rather than taking away items that are subtracted, the program shows subtraction by stacking bricks, so that what’s left can be easily counted and understood. And as you can imagine, students have fun learning with LEGO® bricks! In Subtraction Using LEGO® Bricks, the handson activities using LEGO® bricks help students learn the concepts of: • start unknown subtraction • change unknown subtraction • result unknown subtraction • comparisons • decomposing numbers and place value Brick Math helps students learn subtraction through its integrated program. The teacher leads students through stepbystep lesson plans. Using the bricks, students create models of the math as they learn. They then draw the models they’ve created and explain how the models work. These different ways of interacting with the bricks lead to a deep understanding of subtraction. Modeling subtraction with LEGO® bricks in the Brick Math curriculum gives students the chance to be creative while learning math. They quickly discover multiple solutions for problems rather than looking for only one right answer. Using LEGO® bricks to learn math with Brick Math is fun—for the teacher AND the students! Click here to see videos of lessons from Subtraction Using LEGO® Bricks—Teacher Edition. Click here for a preview of the lesson, “What Does It Mean to Subtract?” from Subtraction Using LEGO® Bricks—Teacher Edition. Learning addition is far more than memorizing “one plus one makes two”! After young students know about counting and cardinal numbers, they need to understand the idea of sets and putting objects together. Building models of addition with LEGO® bricks is the perfect way to show students the action of addition. The bumps on the bricks, which are called “studs,” are a great tool for using onetoone correspondence to teach addition. Plus (pun intended!), students have fun learning with LEGO® bricks! In Addition Using LEGO® Bricks, the handson activities using LEGO® bricks help students learn the concepts of: • joining sets • solving partpartwhole problems • comparisons • decomposing numbers • place value Brick Math helps students learn addition through its integrated program. The teacher leads students through stepbystep lesson plans. Using the bricks, students create models of the math as they learn. They then draw the models they’ve created and explain how the models work. These different ways of interacting with the bricks lead to a deep understanding of addition. There are many different ways to model with LEGO® bricks in the Brick Math curriculum, and students have the opportunity to create multiple solutions for problems instead of looking for only one right answer. Learning math using LEGO® bricks with Brick Math is fun—for the teacher AND the students! Click here for a preview of the lesson, “What Does It Mean to Add?” from Addition Using LEGO® Bricks—Teacher Edition. The first step in learning math is learning to count. But there’s more to counting than just reciting a string of numbers in order—lots more. You want your students to develop a solid base of fluency with numbers. They do this by learn to count on, count back, skipcount, and use onetoone correspondence. Modeling math with manipulatives gets early learners off on the right foot. Brick Math uses LEGO® bricks as the manipulative to help your students visualize the math, so it’s fun to learn! In Counting and Cardinality Using LEGO® Bricks, the handson activities using LEGO® bricks help students learn: • pattern recognition • skipcounting • jump numbers • concepts of more than and less than • onetoone correspondence Brick Math helps students learn counting and cardinality through its integrated program. The teacher leads students through stepbystep lesson plans. Using the bricks, students create models of the math as they learn. They then draw the models they’ve created and explain how the models work. These different ways of interacting with the bricks lead to a deep understanding of counting and cardinality. Using LEGO® bricks to model math adds creativity into the process of learning math. Brick Math gives students the opportunity to create multiple solutions for problems instead of looking for only one right answer. Click here to see several videos of lessons from Counting and Cardinality Using LEGO® Bricks—Teacher Edition. Using LEGO® bricks to learn math with Brick Math is fun—for the teacher AND the students! Click here for a preview of a lesson from Counting and Cardinality Using LEGO® Bricks—Teacher Edition. You’re an elementary school teacher who loves LEGO® bricks, and you’ve always wanted to use them to teach math. Finally, there’s a program to do it — Brick Math: Teaching Math Using LEGO® Bricks! Test out Brick Math with one Teacher Edition of any subject and one Student Edition of that subject. Use your own LEGO® bricks for now; the specific bricks you’ll need are listed at the beginning of each chapter and the whole list of bricks needed for the program is in each book's Appendix. Work through a few chapters with a student oneonone. You’ll quickly see how easy Brick Math is to teach, and how much students enjoy learning this way. The two books will set you back less than $25, and the small investment will earn great rewards for you and your students. Another great way to start with Brick Math is to choose one subject and introduce it in a small group setting. For example, maybe you have some fourth graders who haven’t really ever understood fractions. Here’s all you need to start working with four students at a time: one Teacher Edition of Basic Fractions Using LEGO® Bricks, two brick sets (each set can be shared between two students), and (optional) four companion Student Editions of Basic Fractions Using LEGO® Bricks. This will cost less than $175. If your PTA offers small grants to teachers, this is the perfect use for that money! Here’s how you teach with any subject in Brick Math:
And here are some tips that author Dr. Shirley Disseler says will help when you’re first introducing Brick Math to your students:
Check the Brick Math website for videos that will help you get started teaching with Brick Math. The site, www.brickmath.com, has lots of info about how to teach math using LEGO® bricks! Learning multiplication is NOT memorizing times tables! The rote process of repeating multiplication tables over and over, taking speed tests, and writing math facts ten times each— these instructional methods are not supported in educational research. Students learn the concept of multiplication best through the process of modeling with manipulatives. And that’s where Brick Math can help students learn multiplication. The Brick Math program uses LEGO® or LEGO®compatible bricks as the manipulatives. With Brick Math, students create models that help them understand the concepts behind multiplication. Students begin with the basics—understanding the meaning of multiplication as it relates to repeated addition. This understanding usually begins in grade 2 with the introduction of sets and its relationship to skipcounting. Students then learn basic facts of multiplication through modeling, arrays, and word problems, typically in grade 3. They work on onedigit multiplication problems and later learn how to multiply twodigit numbers and beyond in grades 4 and 5. In Brick Math, students learn multiplication through an integrated program. They create models using the bricks. They then draw the models they’ve created. Finally, they explain in writing how and why they created the models. These three different ways of interacting with bricks lead to a deep understanding of how multiplication works. When students model the action of multiplication using bricks, they have the opportunity to create multiple solutions to problems instead of looking for the one right answer. Watch the video below to see a Brick Math lesson in action. This one is about multiplication fact families. Then click here to download a lesson plan about finding factors from the Brick Math book Multiplication Using LEGO® Bricks—Teacher Edition. Brick Math is fun! Students love playing with bricks, and Brick Math helps them discover that math can be entertaining. As one Brick Math student said: “Why doesn’t everyone learn math this way?” Some students who have mastered the concepts of addition and subtraction lose their way when they try to learn division. Many math textbooks don’t help students learn division. Students learn the concept of division best through the process of modeling with manipulatives. Brick Math uses manipulatives that kids love: LEGO® bricks! With Brick Math, students create models that help them understand the concepts behind division. Brick Math helps students learn division through an integrated program. The teacher uses the stepbystep lesson plan to show students each concept. Then students create brick models of the math as they learn. They draw the models they’ve created and explain in writing what the models mean. These three different ways of interacting with bricks lead to a deep understanding of division. The Brick Math Division book uses a stepbystep approach to break down these division concepts into learning modules:
Watch the video below to see a Brick Math lesson for teaching division basics. Click here for a FREE preview of the Brick Math book Division Using LEGO® Bricks—Teacher Edition. When students model the action of division using bricks, they have the opportunity to create multiple solutions to problems instead of looking for one right answer. Brick Math is fun! Students love learning math with bricks. A teacher said: “My students would rather do Brick Math than go to recess! They love it!” 
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