How To Teach Math With LEGOs

by Katie Lepi of Edudemic

Using Legos in the classroom is not a new concept at all. There are so many different classroom applications for the popular brightly colored bricks, and despite the myriad of uses, the go-to task for Legos is most often math. The handy little nubs sitting atop the bricks offer a chance to teach things like area and perimeter, the different colors lend themselves well to fractions. 

The handy infographic below takes a look at different ways to use fractions to teach math. The visual aspect is pretty handy – you can clearly see how your students will be able to group and divide the blocks to grasp the concepts in a fun way. Do you have other math-specific ways you’ve employed Legos in the classroom?  Share your awesome ideas with the Edudemic community by leaving a comment below, mentioning @Edudemic on Twitter or leaving your thoughts on our Facebook page.

Using Legos To Teach Math

  • Fractions: Using bricks of the same size but different color, have the students count out the denominator (total bricks) and the numerator representative of each color. You can employ any size bricks for this task.
  • Area and Perimeter: Using bricks of any color, construct a rectangle or square. The students can use the nubs on top of the bricks to calculate the area and the perimeter of each shape they create.
  • Multiplication: Using bricks of various sizes (ie 4 nubs on top, 8 nubs on top), students can calculate how many total nubs there are based on the number of same-sized bricks. Thus, a group of 4 ‘size 4′ bricks would yield 16 nubs)
  • Mean, Median, Mode, and Range: Using groups of different sized bricks (ie, 8, 6, 4, 2, 1) and totaling the nubs on each group, students can calculate the mean, median, mode, and range.
  • Place Value: Using a bullseye visual or other type of visual (like this one), place different ‘sized’ bricks in each category, and the students can use that information to write out the number indicated. This could make for fun group work in class.
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The goal: to see if illiterate kids with no previous exposure to written words can learn how to read all by themselves, by experimenting with the tablet and its preloaded alphabet-training games, e-books, movies, cartoons, paintings, and other programs.

Early observations are encouraging, said Nicholas Negroponte, OLPC’s founder, at MIT Technology Review’s EmTech conference last week.

After several months, the kids in both villages were still heavily engaged in using and recharging the machines, and had been observed reciting the “alphabet song,” and even spelling words. One boy, exposed to literacy games with animal pictures, opened up a paint program and wrote the word “Lion.” (Read more)

Source: Technology Review

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