Using LEGO® to Build Maths Concepts (tx @AlyciaZimmerman and @Scholastic!)
A little while ago we came across this gem – a simple and practical yet brilliant post by Alycia Zimmerman on the Scholastic site, sharing ideas of how to use LEGO® to build maths concepts in kids.
As Alycia says in the post, along with the obvious creative implications, while children play with LEGO® blocks, they are also building their spatial and proportional awareness. There are many ways to use LEGO® in the classroom – here she talks about their utility in maths classes. The post has practical tips and downloadable tools to help in lessons.
Here are some of the opportunities she points out in the post:
LEGO® for Building Part-Part-Total Thinking: Students can group combinations of two or more LEGO® bricks and find the total number of studs, or students can start with a larger brick, cover part of it with a smaller brick, and figure out the amount of remaining uncovered studs.
LEGO® = Colourful Ready-Made Arrays: Having a collection of LEGO® pieces on hand during multiplication lessons is so useful. Use them to reinforce the area model, to demonstrate square numbers, and to remind students about the commutative property of multiplication.
Tackling Fractions with LEGO®: The only way to combat fraction-mayhem is to provide students with a LOT of opportunities to experience fractions with tangible objects.
Exploring Mean, Median, Mode, and Range with LEGO®: While evening out LEGO® towers of varying heights, students have a first-hand experience of what “mean” means.
Alycia is a third grade gifted and talented teacher in NYC – according to her Twitter profile, she “loves hands on science, outside the box math, and everything children’s lit”. Check out her website and Twitter feed for more practical ideas to get kids engaged with science and maths. Please check out her post, and share!
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