LEGO® bricks are a very versatile manipulative for math. In fact, Brick Math author Dr. Shirley Disseler has developed a method of teaching students to tell time using bricks!
The technique is called a “linear clock,” which models the numbers 1 through 12 with bricks. It works well to teach students how to tell time and how to find elapsed time. Baseplates are joined together to make the clock, and each stud on the baseplate models a five-minute increment.
Naturally, when using bricks to teach the concept of time, it’s important to also relate the linear clock to both an analog clock and a digital clock, so students learn how to tell time through conventional means.
Here’s an example of using bricks on the linear clock to show elapsed time (from Basic Measurement Using LEGO® Bricks):
Using the linear clock model, place a red 1x1 brick at 2:00 pm on the baseplate. Count forward 65 minutes, and mark the new time on the baseplate with another red 1x1 brick. What time is it now? Write a math sentence for your model.
Answer: The new time is 3:05 pm.
Math sentence: 2 hours + 65 minutes = 3 hours 5 minutes or 3:05 pm
Starting today, you can receive 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 try out the Brick Math program with your students
Once you've signed up, you'll receive a new Brick Math lesson every month.
This month, the lesson is from Basic Measurement Using LEGO® Bricks, and it's about "Coin Values." You'll use bricks to model the values of coins: pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters. It's a simple, yet very effective, way to help students comprehend the value of each coin and how the coins relate to each other. Typically, students learn about coin values in Kindergarten or first grade.
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