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.
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Last month, the Brick Math lesson was about Customary Liquid Measures (cups, pints, quarts, etc.). We got a LOT of comments about how the US should be using metric measures (liters, grams, meters, etc.) like the rest of the world! Well, we can’t control that, but we know that kids need to learn metric measures, too—and luckily, Brick Math also includes lessons on metric measures. So the Brick Math Lesson of the Month for November 2020 is about modeling and converting metric measures and is taken from Basic Measurement Using LEGO® Bricks. To get the November 2020 lesson, and a new lesson each month, sign up here. The lesson starts with the Teaching Guide. It begins by showing how to model the metric system with bricks, using a 1x3 brick as the base unit (liter, gram, meter) and 1x1 bricks to model the tenfold increases or decreases from the base unit. The model includes the vocabulary you need to talk about the metric system (Kilo, Hecto, Deka, Deci, Centi and Milli). Then, using the model, students learn how to convert from one metric value to another: in this lesson, from the base unit of meters to centimeters (1/100). You can use this method to convert any metric values. Pages from the Student Workbook are included after the Teacher’s section. Have your student work along with you using these pages to draw their brick models and answer questions about the lesson. It’s important for elementary students to get comfortable with the metric system, even if we here in the US don’t use it in our everyday lives. Students will soon encounter the metric system as they move forward in math, so building a strong foundation (with bricks, of course!) for understanding the metric system is key, typically in grades 2 – 4. 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. This month's free Brick Math lesson is about Customary Liquid Measures  the ones that are used in the United States (i.e., NOT metric system). Taken from the Teacher and Student Editions of Basic Measurement Using LEGO® Bricks, the lesson is the perfect way to show young learners the relationship between gallons, quarts, pints, and cups. The lesson uses different sizes of bricks to represent the four different liquid measures. Once students know what each brick represents, then they compare the bricks next to each other to determine how many of a smaller measure equals a larger one. Like all the lessons in Brick Math, it's a straightforward, clear way for students to quickly grasp the concepts being taught. And, like the whole Brick Math program, it's easy to teach and fun to learn! To get the October 2020 lesson, and all the lessons that follow each month, sign up here. 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. Whether you're back to school in person or online, or some combination of the two, this free Brick Math Lesson of the Month is a great way to help students learn math. For September, it's a lesson from Fraction Multiplication Using LEGO® Bricks that shows how the commutative property works when multiplying fractions. Students typically learn about multiplying fractions in grades 4  6, but it is sometimes part of the curriculum when students are learning about fractions in grades 2  3. To get the free Lesson of the Month for September 2020, click here. Students should already understand that a x b = b x a (see Multiplication Using LEGO® Bricks, chapter 5). Now it's time for them to learn that the same commutative property holds when multiplying fractions. This lesson makes it clear to students by using bricks one way to model 1/2 x 6, and a different way to model 6 x 1/2. In both cases, the answer, 3, is the same. This lesson also shows how the two number sentences are used to describe different reallife situations: 1/2 x 6 means "onehalf of six," while 6 x 1/2 means "six sets of onehalf." So in reallife usage, 1/2 x 6 could describe "half of the six crayons in the box, or three crayons." And 6 x 1/2 could describe "six halfpizzas, or three whole pizzas." Using bricks to model these two scenarios really helps students understand the 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 math intervention, for 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. Area is the subject of the July 2020 Brick Math Lesson of the Month—specifically, helping students discover the formula for area using LEGO® bricks as the manipulative. It's from the Brick Math Teacher and Student Editions of Advanced Measurement and Geometry Using LEGO® Bricks. To get the free Lesson of the Month, click HERE. As you read through the teacher lesson guide in the first three pages of the Lesson of the Month, you'll see that the teacher is not simply telling students the formula for the area of a rectangle. Instead, the teacher and students model a 6x8stud rectangle with LEGO® bricks and together discuss the attributes of the shape and the two dimensions of rectangles. Students are led to understand the formula L x W = A through the process of modeling the rectangle, then drawing their model and labeling it to correspond with the formula. In this Lesson of the Month, the pages from the student workbook, with questions to answer and space for drawing the models, follow the teacher lesson guide pages. As with all the lessons in Brick Math, this one builds deep understanding of the underlying mathematical principles. The handson nature of the lesson encourages the process of math discovery, which helps students learn far beyond rote memorization of a formula. 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 need not be shared between students. It adapts easily to online instruction. For more information about Brick 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. Contact us with any questions. April's Brick Math Lesson of the Month is about Multiplication. It's a great way to show students exactly what multiplication means, using a bundling technique with bricks. There are two math problems in this lesson of the month to show how the bundling technique works: first, 2 x 25, and second, 3 x 12. In both problems, the math is modeled to show the sets. The problems also show the difference in modeling if the numbers are reversed; i.e., 25 x 2 or 12 x 3. This Lesson of the Month shows 4 pages from the Multiplication Teacher Edition first, and then the corresponding pages for students to use from the companion Multiplication Student Edition. Sign up here to receive a FREE Brick Math Lesson of the Month every month! The concept of Least Common Denominator (LCD) is key to being able to add and subtract with fractions that have unlike denominators or compare the size of different fractions. It's essential for students to thoroughly grasp the idea, and until they do so, they can't move forward with fractions. Modeling with LEGO bricks is the perfect way to teach students how to find the least common denominator. This method from Brick Math, called the "Fraction Train," starts with concrete representation of the math problem using bricks, to teach students exactly where the idea of a common denominator comes from. 1. Start by explaining that the process for finding Least Common Denominator with bricks is called the "Fraction Train." Have students build brick models of 2/3 and 3/4. Label them Fraction 1 and Fraction 2. 2. Discuss the value of the numerators and the denominators of 2/3 and 3/4. Ask students if the wholes are the same, and if not, which whole is larger? Explain that you will be finding the Least Common Denominator so you can compare the fractions. 3. Place one 1x3 brick on the baseplate, showing the denominator of Fraction 1, and under that, a 1x4 brick showing the denominator of Fraction 2. Now it's time to start building your "fraction train." You'll be building out a train of bricks that makes a rectangle. Add enough 1x3 bricks to the top row, and enough 1x4 bricks to the bottom row, until both rows are the same length and the bricks form a rectangle. Count the studs in each row (12) to find the Least Common Denominator—the smallest number that both denominators can divide into evenly. Discuss the fact that 12 is also the equivalent whole for both fractions 2/3 and 3/4. 4. Now it's time to build the equivalent fractions for 2/3 and 3/4, using the Least Common Denominator of 12. Place two 1x12 bricks on the baseplate to represent the LCD of 12 for each fraction. 5. Look at the fraction train again. There are 4 bricks in the top row of the fraction train. This shows the number of 1x2 bricks (from the numerator of Fraction 1) that will model the numerator of the equivalent fraction. Count the studs in the numerator (8) and the denominator (12) . This shows that the equivalent fraction for 2/3 is 8/12. 6. Repeat the process for Fraction 2. Count the studs on the model of the numerator (9) and on the denominator (12). The equivalent fraction for 3/4 is 9/12. 7. Now the equivalent fractions can be compared, since they both have the same denominator. Have students look at the numerators of each fraction and determine which fraction is larger, based on having the larger number of studs in the numerator. Extend the learning by having students draw their models. Have them write a math sentence that compares the two fractions (2/3 <3/4 because 8/12 < 9/12). This lesson from Brick Math's Basic Fractions Using LEGO® Bricks is available FREE as the Brick Math Lesson of the Month for March 2020. Click HERE to sign up for the lesson, including Student Workbook pages.
Try Brick Math with your students with a FREE Brick Math lesson every month! You'll be able to download a PDF that includes the teacher instructions for a lesson, plus the student pages that go along with the lesson. It's a great way to test out the Brick Math program with your students. Once you've signed up, you'll receive a new Brick Math lesson every month.
Click here to sign up now for the monthly free lesson plans and student pages to build your Brick Math library! New year, new FREE Brick Math Lesson of the Month! For January 2020, the lesson is from Subtraction Using LEGO® Bricks Teacher and Student Editions. The lesson teaches students about subtracting within 20, and utilizes the modeling technique of tenframes to help students begin to understand the power of our number system that is based on 10. The tenframe is built with a 2x5 configuration of bricks. Two easy ways to build a tenframe are to use either a 2x4 and a 1x2 brick, or to use a 2x3 and a 2x2 brick. Just make sure those bricks are the same color, so the 2x5 configuration of the tenframe is all one color. Then the subtraction is modeled on top of the tenframe. There are two examples in this lesson to demonstrate subtraction using this method: the first one shows 6  4 = 2; the second one, which uses two tenframes to model, shows 12  8 = 4. Try this lesson with your students who are learning the concept of subtraction. You'll only need a few LEGO® or compatible bricks to model both problems, and you'll help your students "see the math"! Sign up here for the FREE Brick Math Lesson of the Month for January and you'll automatically receive a new lesson every month. 
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