Learning multiplication is NOT memorizing times tables! The rote process of repeating multiplication tables over and over, taking speed tests, and writing math facts ten times each— these instructional methods are not supported in educational research. Students learn the concept of multiplication best through the process of modeling with manipulatives. And that’s where Brick Math can help students learn multiplication. The Brick Math program uses LEGO® or LEGO®compatible bricks as the manipulatives. With Brick Math, students create models that help them understand the concepts behind multiplication. Students begin with the basics—understanding the meaning of multiplication as it relates to repeated addition. This understanding usually begins in grade 2 with the introduction of sets and its relationship to skipcounting. Students then learn basic facts of multiplication through modeling, arrays, and word problems, typically in grade 3. They work on onedigit multiplication problems and later learn how to multiply twodigit numbers and beyond in grades 4 and 5. In Brick Math, students learn multiplication through an integrated program. They create models using the bricks. They then draw the models they’ve created. Finally, they explain in writing how and why they created the models. These three different ways of interacting with bricks lead to a deep understanding of how multiplication works. When students model the action of multiplication using bricks, they have the opportunity to create multiple solutions to problems instead of looking for the one right answer. Watch the video below to see a Brick Math lesson in action. This one is about multiplication fact families. Then click here to download a lesson plan about finding factors from the Brick Math book Multiplication Using LEGO® Bricks—Teacher Edition. Brick Math is fun! Students love playing with bricks, and Brick Math helps them discover that math can be entertaining. As one Brick Math student said: “Why doesn’t everyone learn math this way?”
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Some students who have mastered the concepts of addition and subtraction lose their way when they try to learn division. Many math textbooks don’t help students learn division. Students learn the concept of division best through the process of modeling with manipulatives. Brick Math uses manipulatives that kids love: LEGO® bricks! With Brick Math, students create models that help them understand the concepts behind division. Brick Math helps students learn division through an integrated program. The teacher uses the stepbystep lesson plan to show students each concept. Then students create brick models of the math as they learn. They draw the models they’ve created and explain in writing what the models mean. These three different ways of interacting with bricks lead to a deep understanding of division. The Brick Math Division book uses a stepbystep approach to break down these division concepts into learning modules:
Watch the video below to see a Brick Math lesson for teaching division basics. Click here for a FREE preview of the Brick Math book Division Using LEGO® Bricks—Teacher Edition. When students model the action of division using bricks, they have the opportunity to create multiple solutions to problems instead of looking for one right answer. Brick Math is fun! Students love learning math with bricks. A teacher said: “My students would rather do Brick Math than go to recess! They love it!” Learning fractions is difficult for many elementary school students. Even those who have succeeded in learning other math concepts may come up against a roadblock when they start to learn fractions. Research shows that the best way to learn fractions involves modeling fractions with manipulatives. Brick Math is the perfect way to learn fractions, because the manipulatives used in Brick Math are LEGO® bricks! Brick Math helps students learn fractions through its integrated program. The teacher leads students through stepbystep lesson plans. Using the bricks, students create models of the math as they learn. They then draw the models they’ve created and explain in writing how the models work. These different ways of interacting with the bricks lead to a deep understanding of fractions. Brick Math gives students the opportunity to create multiple solutions for problems instead of looking for only one right answer. Students who haven’t been able to understanding fractions before will learn fractions with Brick Math. The video below shows a Brick Math lesson about adding fractions with like denominators. Brick Math is fun! Students love using bricks to learn math. One student said it all: “I finally understand fractions. I can see them!” To see more fractions lesson plans, click here to get a FREE preview of the Brick Math Basic Fractions book. We've begun a fun series of videos designed to show how easy it is to teach the lessons provided in The Brick Math Series. Whether you're teaching division, multiplication, or fractions, these handson, easytofollow lessons can help engage students and help them grasp math concepts.
For many students learning math can be a frustrating endeavor. LEGO® bricks to the rescue in this easytolearn, ground breaking new book series by Dr. Shirley Disseler. 
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January 2020
