Teaching Math with LEGO :)

Everyone LOVES LEGO… everyone.  I came across this earlier today and thought I would share it.

See our second LEGO post, Teaching Language with LEGO.

Using Lego to Build Math Concepts

This is straight from Scholastic.com, written by  Alycia Zimmerman 


Before we get into the article I also found a really cool video that shows the basic premise of the article in action.

This looks like a great way to use manipulatives to enhance your math lessons!

The great thing about Alycia’s article, as with the Teaching Language with Lego article, on the Scholastic website is that she goes much more in-depth, even including worksheets to go along with the lego bricks.  You can download all of the handouts right from the article, such as this really simple Part-Part-Total (Whole) sheet.

The handouts are great, but one of the article headings sums up the effectiveness of using LEGO for math:  LEGO = Colorful Ready-Made Arrays

It is really that simple!  You can buy these bricks already divided by colour and size.  There is no need to spend hours and hours drawing arrays, modeling how to skip count with arrays, deconstructing arrays, and building arrays with a myriad of tiny things. (Raisins, pennies, grains of rice …) “

With this method you just buy the biggest bucket of lego that you can find (like this one) and, if you want, a base plate to keep everything organized (like this one, which can be cut into smaller pieces).  That is all you need.  If you want to go as far as Alycia suggests, which you should, you can set up prearranged ziploc baggies with everything the student will need to complete the lesson.

Not only does this save the teacher a lot of time, but it also gives the students a very engaging (colourful) way to think of fractions, or whatever else you decide to use the bricks for.  Another great reason that I believe this to be a very effective method is that most students will tend to have LEGO at home.  So, if they want to continue the lesson, or explore beyond the classroom learning, they can do so at home using the exact same manipulatives as they did in class!  This is a very big help if the student is trying to ask their parents or guardians for help but can’t express their thoughts without the use of manipulatives.  It can also be a great way for parents to freshen up on fractions so that they can better assist their children!

Although this article deals with fractions there are MANY ways to use LEGO in ANY math lesson.  If you need some more ideas just do a quick google search and you will find dozens of matches.

Take a look at the FULL ARTICLE for all the details and handouts.


If you liked this post you should check out:

Teaching Language with LEGO!


Mr. S



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