Last updated on January 20th, 2021 at 07:48 am .
Are you frustrated teaching your kid math concepts? Math may be a boring subject for kids, however, with the right approach, it can be made fun learning math concepts. If you are also looking for a new way to help your kids get used to the numbers and operations, you should probably try LEGO bricks.
Well, LEGO brick can certainly be great to help your kids get interested in mathematical concepts and operations. In fact, each day there is a growing number of LEGO math activities being invented and made available for parents to teach mathematics concepts to children.
LEGO – It isn’t all just Playtime
If you are a parent or teacher, chances are you must have at least a little knowledge/idea of the intrinsic educational potential of these plastic blocks. Because, while on the surface these shiny plastic boxes may appear to be just for fun, LEGO does offer some serious creative implications. While children immerse playing LEGO blocks, they are essentially training/tuning their spatial and proportional awareness. In fact, today modern LEGO kits are being used as teaching aid material for robotics, programming, and more in high schools and colleges.
And while most of the elementary school teachers, like me, won’t be LEGO prodigy, it shouldn’t stop us to learn and teach new fun ways of teaching math to children. And before you become comfortable using LEGO blocks as a teaching tool, it’s important to have a feel of these tricky creative tools by playing around with the blocks. So, as a parent or a teacher, you should probably takeout the LEGO bricks that have been stored in the closet forever and start exploring them. You can start by counting the studs, building some towers, or just exploring the dimensions. And once you get started, I can guarantee that you will discover hundreds of creative ways to instill math concepts into kids.
Below is a list of virtual activities for elementary students to understand core math concepts and operations by LEGO game.
– Part-Part-Total Thinking
Composing and decomposing numbers are important concepts for children to get a sense of the numbers; which is vital to perform any arithmetic operations.
LEGO is great for children to explore part-part-total thinking. Just like many other manipulatives used to understand part-part-total including dice or dominoes, LEGO comes with visible studs (marked chits) for children to count. Most of the time the studs in LEGO are grouped in twos that enable easy counting by twos instead of individually counting the studs. With little help from parents or teachers, children may be able to easily recognize the studs’ arrangements, without having to count at all.
In advance stages, children may also pair two or more bricks to count the total number of studs. Also, with time students may develop a strong sense of part-part-thinking and be able to cover part of larger brick with smaller and still find out the number of uncovered studs.
– Colorful Ready-Made Arrays
As an elementary teacher, you must have gone through the laborious exercise of drawing arrays and stimulating array models. Such arrays are meant to make students understand how to count with an array or deconstruct arrays.
With the LEGO game, you have access to ready-made colorful and interactive arrays, which can be used easily to make multiplication lessons easy and fun. You can whip a few bricks out to demonstrate square numbers, or instill the area model to students. The LEGO game can also be used to teach students about the commutative property of multiplication.
– Tackling Fractions
Fraction is one math function that seems to always trip students. Things get even more complicated when it’s about different “Wholes” or when you are teaching students to switch from one whole fraction to the fraction of a set.
Students can benefit greatly in learning about fractions by playing around with LEGO games. That’s because the best way to strengthen their concepts of fractions is by giving them a lot of time to play around fractions with tangible objects. While pattern blocks are taken as the best fraction manipulative for students to get an understanding of the concept. LEGO game is equally beneficial (even more) to help students learn key concepts of the fraction by playing their way around bricks.
Tips for teaching elementary students math by LEGO
– “Explore” Not “Play”
Honestly, it shouldn’t come as a surprise for you to see students itching to trade bricks or build towers; the first time to put out a LEGO game in front of them for math lessons. However, there is no need to fight the tide, rather just go with the flow for a bit.
Let the anxiety of your students get over by giving them ample time to explore the mathematical possibilities of the LEGO game. Just let them think and innovate their way as they want initially. With time as the dust settles, you will have much calmer students eager to learn more ways to learn new math tricks using LEGO games.
– Bag your LEGO into Kits
As a pro tip, make habit of packing different pieces of LEGO game into zip lock bags. The catch here is to not give complete LEGO sets to students at once, rather give them carefully selected bricks. This will help them get more innovative and creative in their approach and complete the assignment.
Also, train students to return their zip bags of bricks at the end of the class. Make sure that you receive a sealed bag with disintegrated bricks.
– Take Help
If you aren’t sure about ways to teach math to elementary students with a LEGO game, don’t hesitate to take help. There are various online education platform like Bluqr that offer great LEGO-based math learning approaches for elementary students. In fact, as a parent, you should encourage children to learn math concepts from online resources like Bluqr and other websites.