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 real-life situations: 1/2 x 6 means "one-half of six," while 6 x 1/2 means "six sets of one-half." So in real-life 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 half-pizzas, or three whole pizzas." Using bricks to model these two scenarios really helps students understand the math.
Brick Math is a K-6 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 whole-school 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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