If you missed my fantastic DIY and introduction to LEGO Math Ideas, read more about it here.

Fractions

The studs on a LEGO brick lend themselves to fractions.  Students are now expected to use partitioning to model fractions.  Common Core Standard 3.NF states that students must understand part and whole a/b where a is a part and b is the whole.  You can use a LEGO brick to introduce partitioning.

Pull out some LEGO bricks that you would like to use.  You know your students and their abilities by now.  Using a 1 by 4, have a student fold a piece of paper into four equal parts.  Talk about the studs on the brick and how it can represent one part of the brick. Tell the student the the 1 by 4 represents a whole number.  Now use some 1 by1’s or 1 by 2’s to make another length of the same distance of the 1 by 4.  The different colors on this length represent the fraction one half or two fourths.

Write the parts (fractions) on the stips
Color them using same color as Lego

Practice coloring in different fractions on the paper and pointing them out on the brick itself.  It’s helpful if you write the fraction directly on the paper in each partitioned section.  Then add the fraction together.  The blue part is one fourth plus one fourth which equals two fourths OR one half.

You can also stack LEGO bricks and ask the student to break them into halves, thirds, fourths, eighths, etc.

On a dry erase board, write down a fraction and ask the student to use the LEGO bricks to represent that fraction.  The student then can break the towers.

Update!  Here are the direct links to all 5 parts of this series:

LEGO 1      LEGO 2     LEGO 3     LEGO 4     LEGO 5
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