During the pandemic, the math skills of many elementary school students have dropped significantly. In the coming school year, educators are faced with the challenge of helping students both regain skills and learn new material. The latest thinking on how to help students who have lost math skills during the COVID year is to accelerate instruction rather than hold back. Guidance from the US Department of Education is to move ahead with gradelevel math instruction, but include new strategies for learning where students show deficits. Brick Math is the perfect solution for teachers and schools looking for a way to help students whose math skills have faltered in the past year. The K – 6th grade program uses LEGO bricks to model math, an innovative approach that helps students quickly learn mathematic basics that range from Counting through Advanced Geometry. Since the program is modular, it can be brought in to address specific learning deficits a student may have. For example, if a teacher finds that a student missed out on learning decimals last year, the Brick Math program of instruction for Decimals will help that student move back up to grade level work quickly. Here’s how Brick Math can help a student who has lost math skills over the past year: 1. Determine what area of math the student is having trouble with (for example, understanding decimals). 2. Bring in the Brick Math subject area as needed (in the example, use the methods in the Decimals Teacher and Student books). The program focuses on helping the student quickly understand and master the topic. 3. Now the student is ready to rejoin the whole class in gradelevel math. Brick Math is a K6 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 wholeschool program. Materials are simple and affordable.
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.
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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 differentsized 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 K6 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 wholeschool 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. The Brick Math Lesson of the Month for August 2020 comes from Decimals Using LEGO® Bricks, Teacher and Student Editions. The lesson is a great way to demonstrate the relationship between decimals and fractions. To get the free Lesson of the Month, click HERE. The method using LEGO® bricks starts with building a 10 x 10 square that has 100 studs inside the square (this is called a "decimal grid"). Each of those 100 studs represents 1/100 (one hundredth), or 0.01, in decimal notation. Within the grid, 25 studs are placed to show 0.25, and then 50 more studs are placed within the grid to show the addition of 0.25 + 0.50. It’s easy to understand that the resulting 75 studs show both 0.75 as well as 75/100, since they cover 75 out of 100 studs in the grid. The physical nature of the Brick Math methods helps students clearly understand the underlying math. In this lesson, the relationship between decimals and fractions is obvious by looking at the model built with the bricks. As a student said, “Now I understand math. I can see it!” 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. Brick Math is a K6 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 math intervention, for enrichment, and as a wholeschool program. Materials are simple and are not shared between students. It adapts easily to online instruction. Contact us with any questions. 
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