Acclaimed science writer Annie Murphy Paul wrote about the tremendous value in solving problems using real, 3D objects in the New York Times Sunday, June 13. It’s so applicable to Brick Math, we just had to quote a little of the article: “Threedimensional space offers additional opportunities for offloading mental work and enhancing the brain’s powers. When we turn a problem to be solved into a physical object that we can interact with, we activate the robust spatial abilities that allow us to navigate through realworld landscapes. This suite of human strengths, honed over eons of evolution, is wasted when we sit still and think. “This holds true for a wide variety of problem types — including basic arithmetic, complex reasoning, planning and challenges that require creative insight. People who are permitted to manipulate concrete tokens representing elements of the problem to be solved bear less of a cognitive load and enjoy increased working memory. They learn more and are better able to transfer their learning to new situations. They are less likely to engage in symbol pushing, or moving numbers and words around in the absence of understanding. They are more motivated and engaged and experience less anxiety. They even arrive at correct answers more quickly.” [italics and boldface are ours] This is the essence of the Brick Math method. Students model K – 6th grade math problems using LEGO bricks, and in doing so, they activate their brains and really learn what the math means. Imagine building this brick model of dividing 24 by 6: The brick model demonstrates the concept of dividing a set of 24 into 4 sets of 6. Using the 3D bricks to model the problem helps a student, in the words of writer Paul, "navigate through realworld landscapes." Students put this another way: "I can SEE the math!" Later, the teacher introduces the number sentence 24 ÷ 6 = 4 so students learn how to write the problem using numerals. This problem is from Division Using LEGO® Bricks. Brick Math methods are based on learning theory from a number of leading experts. The program has been tested on students and shown to improve how well they learn 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 homeschooling, math intervention, enrichment, and as a wholeschool program. Materials are simple and affordable.
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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This month's free Brick Math Lesson of the Month is simple but powerful. It demonstrates the idea of fact families and shows students how to model them using LEGO® bricks so they can fully grasp the concept. This lesson, "Fact Families," from Multiplication Using LEGO® Bricks, includes pages from the Teacher and Student books, along with a video demonstrating the lesson. To get the June 2021 Lesson of the Month and a link to the video lesson, plus a new lesson each month, click here. Knowing fact families is a big step toward learning multiplication facts. In this lesson, students are asked to model the fact families for the numbers 6 and 8 using bricks. The lesson also gives teachers a very clear way to demonstrate the meaning of "4 sets of 2" (4 x 2) versus "2 sets of 4" (2 x 4). Besides showing the commutative property of multiplication, the concept of sets is important in many applications , including engineering, as well as a simple application such as sharing! This lesson is from Chapter 3 of Multiplication Using LEGO® Bricks in the Brick Math series. Students typically learn this skill in grades 23. Try the free lesson with your students to see how much fun it is to learn with Brick 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 homeschooling, math intervention, enrichment, and as a wholeschool program. Materials are simple and affordable. 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. It’s great to see that schools are in gear again, assessing new curriculum for the 202122 school year, and deciding to use Brick Math with their students! Schools in Tennessee, South Carolina, California, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina have recently added Brick Math to their K  6 math curriculum. Administrators and teachers tell us why they have chosen Brick Math: Teaching Math Using LEGO® Bricks for the upcoming school year: Reason # 1 – It works! The Brick Math program is a triedandtested method for learning K – 6 math for the past five years. Students “see” the math by building brick models. The Brick Math method helps students really understand the “why” behind the math by drawing the models they have created and explaining the process in words. Reason # 2 – Brick Math allows teachers and students to focus on one subject at a time. Whether it’s Addition, Basic Fractions, Division, Measurement, Decimals or one of 11 different math topics, Brick Math helps students learn the math concepts they have haven’t grasped yet or leap ahead when they are ready. It can be taught in a small group or a whole classroom. Reason # 3 – Schools, teachers, and parents love Brick Math because it helps students catch up on math they missed during the pandemic. Click here to learn more about how Brick Math can help students bring back the math skills they left behind during virtual or hybrid classes. Reason # 4 – It’s fun! Who wouldn’t enjoy learning math when LEGO® bricks are involved? Brick Math is ready to help schools with a program that can accelerate students’ math skills. If your students have fallen behind in math, please visit BrickMath.com to find out more about how Brick Math can help your students recover from math learning losses over the past year. The website includes training videos, testing results, research findings, and much more. The Brick Math Lesson of the Month for May 2021 deals with number skills that students learn in the earliest grades. From the Counting and Cardinality Using LEGO® Bricks books, this lesson teaches students how to "jump" in their counting, which helps them learn the positions of numbers in relation to other numbers. As part of our "Year of Brick Math," the free lesson includes the pages from the Teacher and Student books, along with a video of author Dr. Shirley Disseler demonstrating the lesson. To get the May 2021 lesson, "Number Lines and Jump Numbers," and a link to the video lesson, plus a new lesson each month, click here. It's important that children don't just learn to memorize by rote a list of numbers, "1, 2, 3, 4, ...". They need to understand ideas such as 4 is greater than 2, and that when they are counting, each number represents a specific value. This lesson, which utilizes a number line built from bricks, helps students grasp key counting and cardinality concepts. Students start by building a 1  12 number line along with the teacher. When the number line is made from bricks, it's easy to distinguish between odd and even numbers. It's also easy to count both forward and backward, touching each brick as they say its number. Then students build another number line that starts with 2 and jumps by twos (2, 4, 6, 8, ...). It's a great way to demonstrate what it means to count by twos. This lesson is from Chapter 5 of Counting and Cardinality Using LEGO® Bricks in the Brick Math series. Students typically learn this skill in grades K  1. Try the free lesson with your students to see how much fun it is to learn with Brick 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 homeschooling, math intervention, enrichment, and as a wholeschool program. Materials are simple and affordable. 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. To celebrate "The Year of Brick Math," we're adding a new feature to the free Brick Math Lesson of the Month  video! Dr. Shirley Disseler, author of the Brick Math curriculum, demonstrates the April 2021 lesson in a fiveminute video that shows the concepts for comparing and ordering 3 fractions with unlike denominators. To get the April 2021 lesson, "Comparing and Ordering Fractions," and a link to the video lesson, plus a new lesson each month, sign up here. Elementary school math teachers know how tricky this skill can be for students to comprehend. When they look at the fractions 1/2, 3/8, and 3/4, many students will think that 3/8 is the biggest fraction of the three, since the denominator is the largest number. This lesson demonstrates the "fraction train" method of finding a common denominator using LEGO bricks to build the fraction models and model the equivalent fractions. This lesson is from Chapter 7 of Basic Fractions Using LEGO Bricks in the Brick Math series. Students typically learn this skill in grades 3  4. Modeling the math with bricks makes it easy to learn. Try the free lesson with your students to see how much fun it is to learn with Brick 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 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. We’re putting the 20202021 school year in the rearview mirror and looking ahead to new resources for students as they go back to inperson learning. Students will need something extra to regain the math skills they’ve lost in the past school year. That’s why the 20212022 school year is “The Year of Brick Math”! There’s never been a better time for Brick Math: Teaching Math Using LEGO Bricks. The innovative K – 6 math curriculum utilizes kidfriendly LEGO bricks to model math with direct, handson techniques that are easy to teach and fun to learn. The method is as far from Zoom screens and worksheets as it could be. The lessons are engaging and effective. Many students have lost significant ground in math during the past year. And parents are very concerned about their children’s lack of academic progress. The Brick Math program can help strengthen students’ math skills. Any or all of the 11 different K – 6 math subjects can be added to an existing math program to help struggling students. Thousands of schools, teachers, and parents use Brick Math in various ways: as a complete math curriculum, for instruction in specific content areas, for remediation, in smallgroups, or working oneonone. Brick Math school programs can include professional development, coaching, and individual support for teachers. Learning math with LEGO bricks is a proven method that gets powerful results. Research has shown that students who learn with Brick Math improve their test scores dramatically. Right now, students need innovative learning solutions that work. Brick Math is the solution to help students rebuild the math skills they have lost in the past year. Make 202122 your Year of Brick Math! Visit www.brickmath.com or call 8027518802 for more information. It’s been a tough year for schools and students, especially for math instruction. Many students have lost substantial math skills during this past school year because virtual learning is a poor substitute for inclass, handson learning. Research shows the deficits are far greater for math than for reading. But there is a solution. Brick Math: Teaching Math Using LEGO Bricks is a program used by thousands of schools around the country to help K – 6 students catch up in math skills they desperately need. Brick Math has programs for schools to jumpstart the math curriculum with specific, handson instruction in 11 math subjects. This proven program engages students with LEGOcompatible bricks to help students quickly gain back what they've lost and move ahead in their math skills. Brick Math programs can include professional development, coaching, and individual support for teachers. We’re calling the 20212022 school year “The Year of Brick Math,” because it’s the perfect curriculum to help K – 6 students rebuild their lost math skills. Brick Math uses LEGO bricks to model the math, which results in higher engagement with the lessons and deeper understanding of the math. Here’s why Brick Math works to bring students' math skills back to where they need to be: • Modular Components: The program is modular, so it can be brought in at whatever level students need to make up for the math they didn’t learn this past year. The K  6 curriculum is divided into 11 different subject areas, starting with Counting and Cardinality in the earliest grades, and moving through Advanced Geometry and Measurement in grades 5  6. • No Screens Necessary! The handson nature of Brick Math is just right for screenexhausted students. They build models of the math with their own set of bricks as they learn, and they utilize pencil and paper to draw the models and explain their thinking process. • Easy to Get Started Teaching techniques are easy to learn and straightforward. Professional development for implementation and periodic coaching of staff throughout the year are available to ensure that teachers are comfortable teaching with Brick Math. • Proven Results Research shows that students who learn with Brick Math improve their test scores dramatically. Learning math with LEGO bricks is a proven method that gets powerful results. Brick Math is the curriculum solution for schools that need to help students rebuild the math skills they have lost in the past year. Visit www.brickmath.com or call 8027518802 for more information.
It’s an exciting time for American schools. Tomorrow President Biden will sign the COVID relief bill, which allocates $128 billion for state and local education. Twenty percent of those funds must address learning loss by students who have struggled to learn in virtual or hybrid settings. According to research, students have fallen far behind in math since March 2020, with much more severe learning losses in math than in reading. There are five key ways that a math curriculum can help students who have fallen behind in math: 1. Students have fallen behind in math at different rates and in different subjects. Brick Math is a modular program that allows students to catch up in any of 11 specific K6 math areas (Counting and Cardinality through Advanced Measurement and Geometry). 2. As students move back to fulltime classroom learning, teachers can now take advantage of teaching methods that work well in the classroom setting. Brick Math works especially well in a classroom environment because it is handson. Students build models of the math with LEGO bricks, and teachers can quickly scan the room to make sure students are correctly learning the concepts. 3. K – 6 math is often taught using small groups of students whose math skills are at the same level. Brick Math works well in small groups because teachers can target specific areas of learning needs and help students with quick adjustments. 4. Students learn math best through a variety of methods. With Brick Math, students think through problems under the guidance of the teacher. Then they build models of the math with bricks. They then draw their models and explain the math concept in writing. These steps help solidify students’ learning. 5. Research shows that kids learn more when they are engaged and stay longer on the task. With Brick Math, students have fun while they learn, so their level of engagement is high. Many teachers report that students ask for “more Brick Math,” even when it’s time to move on to another subject! Brick Math is ready to help schools with a program that can accelerate students’ math skills. If your students have fallen behind in math, please visit BrickMath.com to find out more about how Brick Math can help your students recover from math learning losses over the past year. The website includes training videos, testing results, research findings, and much more. This lesson teaches students about the factors of 16. To get the March 2021 lesson, and a new lesson each month, sign up here. This might be my favorite lesson in the entire Brick Math curriculum, because it does so many things so well:
I use this lesson often when I’m demonstrating how well Brick Math works as a complete learning solution for elementary math. It always helps someone new to the program understand how effective the Brick Math methods are. Try the lesson with your student(s) today to demonstrate factors. The first two pages are from the Teacher Lesson Guide. The next two pages are for the student to use as they learn. There is a baseplate on the last page where the student can draw his/her final model of the factors of 16, plus space to list all the factors of 16. We guarantee they will have that “aha” moment when you teach factors this way! Brick Math’s Basic Fractions Using LEGO® Bricks is a great way to get started with the topic of fractions. It starts by teaching the concept of fractions and progresses through unit fractions, addition and subtraction of fractions, and both like and unlike denominators. The use of LEGO® bricks to model the math makes it fun to learn, too! 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. Learning to add is an important building block of the math curriculum in the early years. Addition is a foundational skill that leads to success in all the math subjects that follow. How can a student learn to add in a way that teaches them to understand the why and how behind the process? Here are five keys to learning addition for young students: 1. Putting things together in like sets: Addition concepts start to form long before children learn to add in school. When they begin to group things together into like sets, children are beginning to develop the basic idea of addition. A set is a physical representation of a number, and young children learn to group similar items into sets, counting up to the number of that set. 2. Strategies of counting on, counting back, and one more: Early number skills provide a foundation for learning addition. Students must be fluent in counting before they are ready to learn to add. When a student has learned to count on (forward), count back, and put one more with a group, the student has progressed far beyond simply memorizing a string of numbers in order (like 1, 2, 3, 4, 5), and is ready to learn to add. 3. Direct modeling of the process of addition: Many educational researchers have shown that teaching students by directly modeling the math with physical objects leads to greater understanding. Brick Math uses LEGO® bricks to model the math. It’s the perfect tool because of the visual and tactile nature of the bricks. Each stud counts as 1, so students can see and feel the numbers they build. 4. Vocabulary of math: It’s important for students to learn the right words to describe the math they are learning. When they know what the words addend, sum, result, solution, and altogether mean, they can talk about addition. Teachers and parents should be careful to use the term addition symbol rather than plus sign when discussing what is happening in an addition problem. “Plussing” is not a word, and the word plus only represents the symbol of the math, not the action. Every chapter in Brick Math starts with a list of the key vocabulary students will learn in those lessons. 5. Addition within the context of 10: Early on, students need to understand that the number system is based on tens. LEGO® bricks can be used to model addition against a physical background of 10 studs. This is a great way to start representing the number system of ones, tens, and eventually, hundreds. The illustration here shows how to model 14 + 5 = 19 with LEGO® bricks while introducing the idea of groups of ten. Addition is the steppingstone to all other math, so it’s critical that kids understand it fully. It leads directly into subtraction as the opposite process to addition. In second or third grade, a firm understanding of the process of repeated addition leads to comprehension of multiplication. Brick Math’s Addition Using LEGO® Bricks is a great way to teach young learners about addition. It starts with teaching the concept of addition and progresses through place value and adding larger numbers. The use of LEGO® bricks to model the math makes it fun to learn, too! 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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