Math is probably the least favorite school subject ever, right?
You try to understand how things work and suddenly you end up being frustrated. So, we got excited when we found out about the 3rd grade teacher from New York. Alycia Zimmerman, who found a way to use LEGO to help her students learn math.
An easier way for kids to learn concepts like multiplication, fractions, adding, etc. is to show them a visual and hands-on way to do that.
This also helped them build proportional and spatial awareness.
Making Learning Fun
Another math teacher who’s found a way to make math more fun is Marcus Blackwell from the Utopian Academy in Atlanta. He got his students interested in this subject through music. They are constantly expressing their desire and excitement to learn their favorite songs through math. How awesome is that?
Four Ways Lego Helps for Math
1. Part-part-total thinking
You need to learn the basics to get to the more complicated stuff, such as composing and decomposing numbers.
Beginning with small ‘landmark numbers’ such as 6– a standard die, or 5– one hand, can gradually build up to ten.
Usually, Lego bricks are grouped in twos so they marked students to count.
Over time, they don’t have to count them as they begin recognizing the arrangements.
This process can work by taking 2 bricks and putting them together, adding, or taking a smaller brick and covering a larger one and counting what’s left, subtracting.
2. Colorful Arrays
Lego blocks come in different colors, and that’s another thing you can use to help children teach math. In this way, kids differentiate the blocks they use through visualization.
This is helpful in teaching square roots, multiplication, and division. By combining and adding the bricks, students can learn why and how arrays work. In this way, they will see these math processes visually.
3. Mean, Median, Mode and Range
Although explaining averages might be easy by explaining kids to add all the given numbers and then divide by how many numbers there are, explaining why this works is a totally different story.
To help them understand this, make Lego towers of different heights, stack them together, and then break them into smaller even towers. In this way, you will help kids understand the process of calculating average in math.
Fractions is one of the hardest thing for many students. They can get little confused when there are different size wholes or fractions of a set. To help students visualize the problem, use tangible items like Lego. Lego offer more possibilities than pattern blocks as the bricks come in different size and shape.
Lego Teaching Tips
Let your students or kids use their imagination to start building and playing with Lego. By giving them this play time they will later focus on the more serious things, like math. In this way, they won’t associate Lego only with work, but they will keep thinking Lego is fun.
Give your kids or students the pieces needed only for the assignment. In this way, you will prevent them being confused or distracted by the rest of the blocks. Put them in your own custom made bags or kits, and label them to help kids know what to do.
Besides educational, learning should be also fun and engaging. With the help of Lego, kids learn in a way they can understand. Use the children’s limitless imagination to your own advantage to help them understand that math is not a hard school subject.