February's Lesson of the Month is on multiplying unit fractions by fractions. Unit fractions are those that have a 1 in the numerator. This lesson shows how to model the multiplication of any unit fraction by any other fraction. It's key to understanding what it actually means to multiply fractions together. The lesson is from Brick Math's Fraction Multiplication Using LEGO® Bricks. To get the February 2023 Brick Math Lesson of the Month, "Multiplying Unit Fractions by Fractions," plus a new lesson each month, click here. The lesson starts with a discussion of the term unit fraction, along with a discussion about how to determine which unit fraction is largest: 1/2, 1/3, or 1/4. The lesson then moves on to modeling two multiplication problems. Most 4th  6th grade math teachers would agree that multiplying and dividing fractions is a very tricky subject for students to understand. The methods in Brick Math help make clear to students what is actually happening when two fractions are multiplied together  not simply the process of multiplying the numerators and denominators together. This kind of deep understanding gives students a strong foundation in math that they can build on as they progress into middle school math and beyond. 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. This year, the program will expand to include grades 6  8, with the additional subjects Data and Statistics, PreAlgebra, and Ratios and Proportions. Brick Math works in many applications: for homeschooling, math intervention, enrichment, and as a wholeschool program. Materials are simple and affordable.
If you are a math teacher or a parent with a student at home who is learning K  6th 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.
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Math scores for students across the US have declined since the start of the pandemic, according to the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress (known as the “Nation’s Report Card”). For fourth graders, only 36 were found proficient in math. Even worse were the scores for eighth graders: only 26 percent proficient in math. The term “proficient” means that the students have demonstrate competency in the subject matter in their grade level. What does this mean for schools? Students need to focus on academic recovery. Students need to get back their math knowledge, and fast. Since math instruction builds on what students have previously learned, more and more students will be set back if they aren’t given the tools to catch up first. Brick Math is a perfect solution for schools, teachers, and parents who want to help their elementary and middle school students catch up in math. Brick Math teaches 11 subjects of basic math using LEGO® bricks. Modeling math with bricks helps students understand what the math means. The program is perfect for students who are struggling and haven’t learned through other teaching methods. It’s adaptable to all learning environments: wholeclass instruction, small groups, and individual tutoring. The school district of Davidson County, North Carolina, recently brought in Brick Math throughout the district to help bring their students back to levels of math proficiency. According to Dr. Deana Coley, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction for the district, “We asked our teachers which program students would have the most success with, and overwhelmingly, the teachers requested Brick 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 for math intervention, enrichment, as a wholeschool program, and even homeschooling. Materials are simple and affordable. If you teach math or have a student at home who is learning K  6th 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.
There are a number of recent research studies that assess the effects of online and hybrid learning during the past three pandemicaffected school years. The studies show that math scores have dropped considerably during this time, even more than reading. According to an Education Week article, students are 12 weeks behind where they should be in math – about four months, or onethird of a typical 36week school year. There is a lot of federal funding available for academic intervention and support to help kids catch up. Many experts recommend a multipronged approach to helping students get back on track: tutoring, afterschool programs, summer school, and/or lengthening the school year. Brick Math is a very effective curriculum for math intervention and support in grades K – 6. The program teaches basic math by modeling with LEGO bricks, so the process is tactile, easy to understand, and fun! Brick Math is designed to work in different settings: wholeclass, small group, and oneonone. It is simple to adopt in any of the support approaches a school chooses, as a tutoring curriculum, or part of an afterschool or summer program. Recommendations also include the need for schools to implement their intervention strategies as soon as possible, and the funding timeline will help reinforce a speedy plan: schools have only two years to spend the money allocated to help students catch up. That's another plus for Brick Math  the brick modeling techniques are easy for teachers to learn. There are only a few materials needed: a lesson book for the teacher, a student workbook for each student, and a brick set for every one or two students using the program. As schools try to get back to "normal" this year, the Brick Math curriculum can help bring your students back where they should be in 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 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 K  6th 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. We get lots of questions from parents who want to try Brick Math with their children, either for homeschooling or as a fun supplement at home. They often ask how to determine where their child should start, what books to purchase, and what bricks to use. Here's a guide to getting started with Brick Math: Brick Math basics: Brick Math is based on teaching individual math subjects. The series starts with Counting and Cardinality, and works its way up to Advanced Measurement and Geometry. There are 11 subjects available that track the typical K  6 curriculum. You can view all of them here: https://www.brickmathseries.com/products.html To get a sample lesson of any subject, click on the subject, click on any version of the book, then click "Download Sample Lesson" or "Look Inside!" Determining what subjects to start with: If your child has already starting learning with another math curriculum, determine what he/she has mastered and move on from there. For example, the typical K2nd grade curriculum includes Counting, Addition, and Subtraction, plus part of Basic Measurement (telling time). If your child has mastered those, move to the subjects that are typically in the 3rd4th grade curriculum: Multiplication, Division, and Basic Fractions, plus most of Basic Measurement. Teacher and Student Editions: We suggest you buy the Teacher and Student Edition of each subject. You will use the Teacher Edition to guide your child through the lessons, and your child will use the Student Edition to draw their brick models, answer questions, and complete chapter assessments, so you will feel confident that they are ready to move on. Each child learning with Brick Math needs their own Student Edition. Print books or PDFs: Either version will work, but you will need to print out all the pages of the Student books for your child to write in. The books average about 80 pages in length. The books are in full color so the illustrations of the brick models are easy to understand. This is more important for the Teacher books, which include illustrations of the brick models you will make as teacher, and of the models you can expect your child to make. Since many people don’t have easy access to a color printer, or find color printing much more expensive, the print book may be a less expensive alternative to a PDF if you plan to print out most of the pages. Bricks needed: You can use your own LEGO bricks if you have plenty of them, or you can buy our Brick Set, which includes all the bricks needed for the entire Brick Math program. Every chapter has a list of all the bricks you need for that chapter, and there is a suggested brick inventory for the whole program in each book and on our website at https://www.brickmathseries.com/uploads/7/1/0/2/7102647/brickinventory.pdf. More resources: The Brick Math website includes lots of videos to help you get comfortable with the program and see the Brick Math method being taught by the author of the series.
https://www.brickmathseries.com/videos.html For additional information, check the website section for parents/homeschool: https://www.brickmathseries.com/forparentshomeschool.html Many homeschool families are using Brick Math: Teaching Math Using LEGO® Bricks for the math curriculum for their children ages 5 – 12, or in grades K – 6. We recently gave a short virtual presentation about Brick Math to interested parents associated with the Heartwood Charter School, a public charter school for independent study in California. Watch the video to see how Brick Math works for homeschool families. If you homeschool your child and are looking for math curriculum, this video presentation about Brick Math shows you the materials, explains how you can get started, and gives a short demonstration of a lesson. You can check the website for more information about how Brick Math can work for you and your child. Please feel free to contact us if you have more questions about Brick Math as a homeschooling math curriculum.
In the Brick Math program, students use LEGO bricks to learn elementary and middle school math. The bricks are also known as manipulatives—items that the students actually touch and move to model the math. How do manipulatives work in teaching math? There are three major ways that manipulatives help students learn: 1. Manipulatives make math concrete. When you read math problems in a textbook, you are asked to envision abstract concepts—subtracting 5 from 7, or multiplying 10 by 3, for example. But using manipulatives to model a concept makes the math concrete and real. In our examples, use 7 bricks to model the number 7, then remove 5 of those bricks to see clearly that 2 are left. Or make 3 groups of 10 bricks each to model multiplication, to clearly show the solution as 30. Students “get” the math when they can see it! 2. Manipulatives are tools to solve math problems. Engineers and scientists approach new problems by building models and testing their solutions. Manipulatives work the same way for math problems. When given a math problem, students use bricks to work through the problem. Different solutions can be tested and compared. 3. Manipulatives make math fun. Doesn’t the idea of doing math with LEGO bricks seem like a lot more fun than memorizing multiplication facts or doing long division with pencil and paper? Students and teachers across the globe agree! Teacher Sally Gray told us: "Instead of indoor recess with puzzles and games, my class begged to continue working on multiplication with Brick Math!" Using the beloved LEGO bricks as math manipulatives in a complete curriculum of K6th grade math helps students build deep and lasting math ability. 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 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 K  6th 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. Studies show that up to 30 percent of people report moderate to high levels of math anxiety, according to author Malia Wollan in an article that appeared on March 27, 2022 in the New York Times. Children as young as 6 can show signs of anxiety about math. Many adults (parent and teachers) make the mistake of telling children they are bad (or good) at math, which can increase the child’s apprehension about math. One of the reasons students become anxious about math is that math is taught in a highpressure situation, often by teachers who are uneasy about their own math skills. The Brick Math program can help reduce students’ math anxiety. Students “see” the math by building models with LEGO® or LEGOcompatible bricks. They engage with the math by drawing solutions to math problems and by explaining the process they used in writing or orally. In this program, students use a wide variety of sensory skills that reinforce how to solve math problems. Addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and fractions come alive to students when they learn with LEGO® bricks. The New York Times article recommends, “When you work on calculations with children, try to do so with curiosity, playfulness and a sense of adventure.” When math becomes fun, the student’s anxiety level decreases. That’s the power of Brick 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 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 K  6th 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. Brick Math is used by schools around the country to help students improve their math skills. Students learn math through a threepart process: creating models of the math with LEGO®compatible bricks, then drawing those models, and finally, writing and verbalizing how the models work. This process helps students really understand math and quickly build confidence in their math abilities. Teachers and parents are curious about how Brick Math works. Here are the answers to seven of the most frequently asked questions about Brick Math: 1. What grade levels work for Brick Math? Counting and Cardinality, Addition, and Subtraction are geared for students in kindergarten to 2nd grade. Multiplication, Division, Basic Fractions, and Basic Measurement are generally taught in grades 3 – 5. Fraction Multiplication, Fraction Division, Decimals, and Advanced Measurement and Geometry are most often part of the curriculum in grades 4  6. We are in the process of extending Brick Math through the middle school curriculum with the subjects Data and Statistics, Ratios and Proportions, and PreAlgebra. These will be available for the 20222023 school year. Of course, lessons in all the books can be used in different grade levels, depending on your students. 2. Does Brick Math improve test scores? There have been several studies of the effectiveness of Brick Math as a teaching tool. For grades K  2, Brick Math has been shown to improve students' test scores by an average of 4 points. For grades 3  5, studies found average test score increases of 7  9 points from pretest to posttest after teaching with Brick Math methods. Further, studies show students’ increase in engagement and excitement about math, as well as increases in conceptual understanding of the content. Click here to learn more about Brick Math studies 3. Is Brick Math a standalone math curriculum or a supplement to curriculum? Both. Some schools have adopted Brick Math as their elementary math curriculum, and others are using Brick Math to supplement their current textbook materials. The program provides differentiation for learners at a variety of levels. Accommodations and modifications for different types of learners are provided with the program. Click here to learn more about the differentiation capabilities of Brick Math 4. Is Brick Math aligned with curriculum standards? Yes. Brick Math’s researchbased math lessons are designed to help introduce foundational concepts and build mastery through handson engagement. The Brick Math curriculum is aligned to the Principles, Standards and Expectations of the National Council of the Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). A vertical K6 progression highlighting alignment is included with the Teacher Edition. Click here to learn more about Brick Math curriculum alignment 5. Does Brick Math include lesson plans? Yes. The Teacher Edition guides the teacher through the lessons clearly and in sequence. The Student Edition gives each student a workbook for drawing brick models and explaining thinking in writing. In addition, the Student Edition includes extra problems, activities, and an assessment for each chapter. The teaching methods can be used by teachers and parents without any special training. Click here for sample Brick Math lesson plans 6. Is professional development available for the Brick Math program? Yes. Although no special training is required, professional development is available for schools that would like it when implementing the program. Schools can order Brick Math materials and professional development as a package or separately. Contact us if you are interested in arranging for a custom package with professional development. 7. How do I order Brick Math? Books and brick sets can be purchased online direct from the publisher, Brigantine Media. The paperback books are also available on Amazon, and Kindle versions of each book are available on Amazon Kindle. PDF versions are also available on the website Teachers Pay Teachers. For schools ordering the Brick Math program in quantity, with or without professional development, discounts and free shipping are available by ordering online. The August 2021 Lesson of the Month comes from the Decimals book. To get the August 2021 Lesson of the Month, plus a new lesson each month, click here. For the first time, we’re showing you Part 2 of a lesson, or “Show What You Know.” This comes after the teacher has demonstrated the skill in Part 1 of the lesson (“Show Them How”), with the students working along with their own bricks. In Part 2, the teacher poses a problem for the students to work out while the teacher observes and coaches. In Part 1, students have learned how to model decimals in a 100 x 100stud decimal grid. In Part 2, students are first asked to model 0.42 in a decimal grid with bricks. Next, they are asked to try modeling any combination of studs that adds up to 0.30. In the Decimals book, the example illustrated is 0.14 + 0.16. The 100 x 100 decimal grid is a very useful tool to explain the concept of decimals to the onehundredth place. Author of the Brick Math series, Dr. Shirley Disseler, demonstrates how to teach this decimal addition lesson in a oneminute Brick Math video, which is also part of the August 2021 Lesson of the Month. Watching the videos on the website really helps a teacher or parent understand how to guide a student through the Brick Math curriculum. 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. 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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