Please refrain from posting animated GIFs, memes, joke videos and so on in discussions other than those in the off topic area.

Dismiss this message to confirm your acceptance of this additional forum term of use.

Anyone have any ideas on teaching math with lego? specifically with set 9689-1?

the simple machines set: http://usvvtmc.brickset.com/detail/?set=9689-1

I purchased this set to use with my students as i teach math and science to underprivileged/under performing kids. We have done most of the machine builds and they absolutely loved it but I'd like to try to use this somehow with math but so far I'm coming up blank. Any help would be appreciated. I'd only like to use this set because I have it on hand but if anyone has ideas using standard bricks I would not be adverse to going out an purchasing a small bucket out of pocket to use.

Comments

  • LusiferSamLusiferSam MontanaMember Posts: 464
    What age kids are we talking about and what level of math? In general your best bet is a "integrated math." An integrated math course is an interdisciplinary course that combines several mathematical topics with science topics. There's of mathematical concepts that could be taught just using the 9689 set, like gear ratios. But again it comes down to what age and what level of math.
  • super_curry_maxsuper_curry_max Member Posts: 73
    these are 3rd through 5th graders. the 3rd graders are just starting multiplcation but many of them lack basic addition and subtraction skills. the 4th and 5th graders have started division but are still behind on multiplying.
  • LusiferSamLusiferSam MontanaMember Posts: 464
    I was afraid that was going to be the case. You could talk about things like areas and volumes, but it wouldn't be terrible hands on the way I'd imagine it.

    I'd skip the bricks, buy some playing cards and teach them game Cribbage. Honestly its the prefect game for teaching basic addition with a little subtraction. It's pretty easy to pick up, it's hands on, and it's fun. All you really need to play a deck of cards. Playing with a cribbage board is fun, but not really needed. It's best if someone you knows how to play teaches you, not necessary.
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    I agree, if you're even having to ask how to use lego in maths then its reasonably safe to assume you shouldn't, the tenuous link would just confuse more than educate. The best I could see would be "Bob has 12 bricks, Jim has 10 bricks. How many more bricks does Bob have than Jim?"

    Although perhaps this would be more appropriate for here....

    "Bob bought a haunted house for 150. With eBay fees of 10% and PayPal fees of 3% what price would Jim have to sell the set for to make 150% profit? If it took 3 years to reach that market value would Bob be better investing in ninjago spinners costing 7 but doubling in value after 6 months?"
    Jenni
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,204
    You could use 1xX bricks in much the same way as Cuisenaire rods for very basic addition and subtraction, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuisenaire_rods) but you are probably better off buying proper Cuisenaire rods, so you have all the right lengths.

    I remember using them as a kid, although I seem to remember preferring to build with them rather than doing maths with them.
  • fitzyfitzfitzyfitz ManchesterMember Posts: 94
    This is probably a little more advanced than what you're looking for, but I was pleasantly surprised when I realised this element http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=2486 can be used to demonstrate Pythagoras' theorem. Simply place it at an angle to create a perfect 3-4-5 triangle (although this could confuse people thinking it's 4-5-6: you have to count from stud centre to stud centre).
  • TyrellArcherTyrellArcher Member Posts: 8
    I'm a Gr4 teacher myself. If you want to use LEGO bricks for multiplying, I'd say any individual brick would be excellent for use as an array. For example, a standard 4x2 brick has 8 studs... or, 4 groups of 2. You could also use these for area and perimeter. Actually, come to think of it... I just finished this unit a couple of weeks ago. Why didn't I think of these sooner?!?
  • MathBuilderMathBuilder Member Posts: 150
    fitzyfitz said:

    This is probably a little more advanced than what you're looking for, but I was pleasantly surprised when I realised this element http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=2486 can be used to demonstrate Pythagoras' theorem. Simply place it at an angle to create a perfect 3-4-5 triangle (although this could confuse people thinking it's 4-5-6: you have to count from stud centre to stud centre).

    @fitzyfitz Could you eleaborate a bit more? I have no idea of what you have in mind.
  • fitzyfitzfitzyfitz ManchesterMember Posts: 94
    The piece is 8 studs in length, but attaches underneath to two studs (counting from one side these would be studs 2 and 7). The same effect can be achieved with a 1x6 brick with two 1x1 (preferably round) bricks underneath. Although it looks like it's length 6, if you count from the middle of each stud to the next then it's actually length 5 - and can be used as the hypotenuse of a 3-4-5 triangle.

    Fix just one end onto a larger plate then swing the other end round - you'll find two angles where it fits perfectly onto a stud; if you were to fill in the perpendicular sides you'd have a Pythagorean triangle. You can also get a 5-12-13 by using a 1x16 brick with the studs at points 1 and 14 (as with the previous example, it's one extra than the hypotenuse length because it's basically counting from the mid-point of the studs).

    Hope this makes sense? Let me know if you still can't visualise it and I'll try to put together a picture this evening.
  • super_curry_maxsuper_curry_max Member Posts: 73
    Yeah im still not seeing that either. pictures please!
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,204
    edited February 2013
    It does make sense. But if people here are having problems with it, it isn't going to work for kids having difficulty.

    You can also do a 3-4-5 triangle by placing 1x4 and 1x3 plates touching at a corner - that is place the 1x4 along y-axis, put a 1x1 underneath it in another colour. Then put the 1x3 along the x-axis, going sideways from the different colour 1x1. The 1x1 is there merely to show it is a right angle. Then a 1x5 (made from 1x2 and 1x3) can be placed as the hypotenuse. These pieces at least have the correct dimensions (3-4-5) along their lengths.

    But keep it simple. Don't use lego if it really doesn't help simplify it.
  • fitzyfitzfitzyfitz ManchesterMember Posts: 94
    Entirely agree...but for anyone still struggling with the concept I just found this visual demonstration on flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/peggyjdb/5428679833/
  • super_curry_maxsuper_curry_max Member Posts: 73
    I understand that. I think maybe you linked to the wrong brick in the bricklink inventory? When i click on the link I get "Bar 1 x 8 x 2."

  • fitzyfitzfitzyfitz ManchesterMember Posts: 94
    Yup, was the right piece - the spacing of the studs on this make it work. Handy for any mocs where you happen to need some angled barriers ;o)
Sign In or Register to comment.
Recent discussions Categories Privacy Policy