Many elementary schools are planning for a combination of in-school and online learning for the upcoming school year. But studies show that students have missed about half the math they should have learned this spring. It’s important that the math instructional methods for the fall carry through from the classroom to the home.
Steven Blackburn, writing for District Administration, talks about two key needs for learning math: the use of manipulatives, and the ability for students to share their thinking with teachers and peers. He quotes Trena Wilkerson, president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM): “Making math meaningful involves providing tasks and opportunities that allow students to engage in ways that make sense in their world to build upon whatever understanding they have at that moment to do meaningful work.”
That’s how Brick Math works. Students build models with a familiar and fun manipulative, LEGO® bricks. Then they share their thinking about the math, both orally and in writing. Wilkerson is clear about the need for communication in math instruction: “There needs to be an open dialogue in learning just to ensure students are engaging with the mathematical principles and making sense of it in their world.”
Schools can use the Brick Math curriculum and brick sets on site at school and also send brick sets and student workbooks home for students’ use there. Even students without Internet access can discuss their Brick Math work with teachers via phone or text.
Whether in our new virtual classrooms or in real life, students need to learn along with the teacher, using a model to explain and describe the math. Dr. Shirley Disseler, author of the Brick Math curriculum, recently found that most parents of elementary students don’t feel qualified to work with their child in the area of math (23% of 250 respondents). In contrast, 65% felt they could help their child with reading tasks. For math, students need to see the teacher, hear the teacher, and work alongside the teacher whether online or in person.
No matter how it is delivered, instruction must provide student engagement that is rooted in manipulative and hands-on work that is not solely worksheet and app based. Brick Math is a curriculum that helps students learn K-6 math in any learning environment.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 802-751-8802.
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 K-6 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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.