Who doesn’t love lego bricks? This simple toy appeals to kids of all ages and even holds the title of being the “world’s most powerful brand.” Certainly in my household, my kids love to build with lego bricks and I love the fact that they are using math without realising it. For a more formal approach to using Lego bricks to teach math, check out these 10 awesome lego math videos for creative kids (and their parents!)
1. Lego Color Sorting Activity For Preschool Math and Fine Motor Development
Put your preschooler to work sorting their lego by color or size. Muffin tins or used egg cartons make excellent temporary containers for this activity. You could also buy sectioned containers so that the newly sorted lego stays organized for the long term.
2. The simplest way to explain Math to Kids with Lego
Fractions are best served with a helping of physical objects. Give those pizzas a break and use lego math to demonstrate basic fractions and addition and subtraction of fractions. This video also shows how to use lego to represent square numbers.
3. Maths with Lego: Improper fractions to Mixed Numbers
The idea of improper fractions is often difficult to demonstrate with real objects. This lego math video will walk you step-by-step through the process along with examples to solve alongside.
4. Three Prisoners problem – LEGO Star Wars Math
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away the force of mathematics was unleashed. Is the force strong with you? How can the prisoners work out which of them is to be executed. This video shows the solution to a classic math problem – The 3 Prisoners Problem – acted out and explained using lego minifigs.
5. Lego Perfect Diagonals
Watch this video to learn how to use geometry to solve a common problem for lego builders – How to form perfect diagonals while still connecting to the studs.
6. A Lego Brickumentary Clip
In 1958 LEGO estimated six standard LEGO bricks could come together nearly 103 million ways. Professor Soren Eilers calculated the real number — 915 million ways. Discover how Professor Soren worked out the mathematical solution to tricky question.
7. Teaching Division Basics Using LEGO® Bricks – Brick Math Series
Dr Shirley Disseler walks through a series of division problems using lego bricks and shows how to form division sentences from the representations. Dr Shirley has also made videos in the Brick Math series with show how to use lego math to demonstrate factors, multiplication and fractions.
8. Geometry Activity # 1 LEGOmaniacs Have Fun Building Math Activities LEGO Homeschooling Lessons
Build a variety of square-based structures using lego bricks. This video introduces the concept of squares being shapes of equal length and investigates how squares can be constructed with different shaped lego bricks.
9. Pythagoras Theorem
Watch this video prove Pythagoras’ Theorem using graph paper and lego bricks. This is a fantastic hands on way to explore this important math equation using lego.
10. LEGO MATH : Fractions, Decimals, Tenths
Explore the relationship between place value, fractions, decimals and tenths with this lego math video which features lego bricks, lego minifigs and even a tidy up lego AT-AT.
Which is your favorite lego math video? Tell me in the comments below!
Arecent study by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) has highlighted the problem of girls’ lack of math confidence. From the report:
Girls “lack self-confidence” in their ability to solve mathematics and science problems and achieve worse results than they otherwise would, despite outperforming boys overall
Girls do worse at math and sciences than boys, even though they do better in other subjects. This gender gap occurs in the majority of countries who took part in the PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) tests, but the gap in the UK, the US and Western Europe was much more noticeable.
A spokeperson from the OECD criticized the teaching of math in the UK which he says was “simple math wrapped in complex words,”compared to Asian countries where complex math is taught earlier and from first principles.
The report goes on to say that this gender gap is not because girls aren’t as clever or able as boys, in fact they do better than boys in reading tests, but their poor performance is due to a lack of confidence in their math skills and their belief that they won’t need math for their future careers.
As the mother of a 15 year old girl, these results sadden me, but I know that looking at the make up of the advanced math groups in her school, the majority of the class are boys, with only 5 girls out of 20 in her class and only 6 girls out of 25 in my 14 year old son’s advanced math group.
The OECD also looked at data from parent questionnaires and found that parents were much more likely to expect their sons to work in careers that needed math than their daughters.
What can we parents of girls do to lift our daughters from the bottom of the math confidence pile?
Research (and personal experience from my 4 kids) has shown that girls love reading books more than boys do. We’ve managed to sneak a few math books onto our daughter’s bookshelf over the years. You can find some engaging math story books in the Maths Insider Amazon store in the side bar. Also check out my blog post Go Read Some Math.
Find out what your daughter really thinks about math
Kids, especially as they get older, are often experts at hiding their true feelings. After reading this post, you’re more likely to look out for signs which indicate the level of your daughter’s math confidence. A casual chat in the car, or at the dinner table will yield more insights. You should also check out my “How Confident is Your Child at Math?” quiz here on Maths Insider.
As a biased math fanatic, I’d love it if every child loved math, and as a mother of 4, I’d be content if my own children loved math all the time. In reality, that’s just not going to happen. However, as parents, we want our children to be confident in all their subjects at school, and especially in the core subjects of math and English. We also don’t want the fact that our child is female, to mean she has fewer future career options. The advice above will help raise the math confidence of your child, whether it be your son or daughter, but the research shows the problem is more acute for our girls.