Monday, May 13, 2013

LEGO to the Rescue - LEGO Math Fun!


It is no secret that some kids get overwhelmed by math.  Trying to envision larger numbers, figure out greater than or less than, imagining perimeter, area, etc. can be daunting for kids who haven't had much real life experience with these concepts.  But what would happen if you brought LEGO into the equation?

First of all it is a 'toy' and we all know kids love toys.  Secondly, most people and schools already have a huge stash of it so it is therefore inexpensive.  Lastly, it comes in lots of sizes and colours which lends itself perfectly to matching, categorizing, etc.  

Obviously manipulatives aren't a new idea but taking something such as LEGO that the kids already enjoy working with can help eliminate some of the fear around these math concepts and instead make them exciting.  Give it a try!

Greater Than/Less Than:


This is a great tool for the visual learners.  By stacking the LEGO blocks indicated on the number cards a child can quickly understand the concept of greater than, less, than and equal to.

Image & Idea: One Perfect Day


Perimeter and Area:


Placing LEGO blocks on your graph paper is a great visual representation for kids.  The bright colours are more fun and engaging than the typical pencil drawn shapes.  No paper?  No problem.  Remember each dot on a LEGO piece is the equivalent of one square on graph paper so the grid is really built into the LEGO block.  Problem solved.

Image & Idea: E is for Explore



Addition & Subtraction:


LEGO pieces represent the numbers the children are trying to add and subtract.  The raised dots make it easy for them to keep track when counting.  You can make your own math sheets, print these free printable sheets or simply write the numbers on a sheet or the chalkboard and have kids show their work using LEGO.

Image & Idea: Inspiration Kindergarten




Patterning:


What a fun way to practice patterns.  Use LEGO blocks to form patterns that vary in size and colour.  As the kids get better at spotting the pattern throw in some AB or ABC patterns to see if they can figure it out.  Have the kids create their own patterns and explain them.

Image & Idea: The Tutor House


Fractions:


Fractions can challenge kids and all those pie charts can make a kid hungry.  Why not let them practice their fractions with LEGO blocks instead.  Simply stacking the LEGO blocks using different colours quickly helps children identify the fraction.

Image & Idea: E is for Explore


Multiplication:


I love the way the Tutor House has described a way to explain multiplication using LEGO blocks.  It is so clear when the kids can visualize the numbers.  By adding LEGO blocks you increase the number you are multiplying by.  

Images & Idea: The Tutor House


They say that kids can lose up to 3 months of knowledge during their summer break that teachers need to re-teach when they begin school again in September.  Why not incorporate a little learning into your summer playtime and help keep their minds engaged.  They won't even know you're doing it.  Way easier than sneaking broccoli into their dinner!

4 comments :

  1. I wish my math teachers had taught me with Lego! My daughter already loves Duplo, so when she graduates to Lego (and, going to school) I will definitely use these ideas - thanks!

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  2. This make a lot of sense! And it's so tactical too. I will definitely be using this technique.

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  3. Since we have tons of Lego in our house might as well put them to use and learn some math! Some great ideas for kids to learn while they play and great for travelling with too!

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  4. Love these ideas. Such a fun way to engage in math with manipulatives you have handy in your house. Great ideas!

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