Using Lego in Maths Class

With only a few weeks to go until the end of another school year, our main goal is to keep the students interested and engaged - so we did LEGO maths all week!

Even though we teach Grade 3/4, whenever it is wet day timetable the first thing to come out is the Lego. My teaching partner and I planned a series of lesson that would incorporate Lego, technology, maths skills and a bit of technical thinking.

Lesson 1 - Legoland
We introduced the design brief that Legoland was looking at building a new attraction and wanted us to design on. We showed them a map of Legoland on the IWB and discussed the types of attractions they already have. Students were excited by the chance to design their own and discussed their ideas in small groups. They then did a little sketch in their maths workbooks showing approximate dimensions of the attraction and their ideas.

Lesson 2 & 3 - Legoland
Students then either used BlockCAD (free download from the internet) or Lego pieces to create their designs. Many children altered their design as they worked, changing their original design as creativity came to them!

Lesson 4 & 5 - Legoland
After they designed their attraction, students worked out the surface area, perimeter and volume of the attraction as the builders of Legoland needed to know how much space it would take up. Then children made a poster with a photo and their information (sorry, I forgot to take a photo).

Lesson 6 - Measurement
We used Lego to practise our measuring skills. We found something in the room and guessed how many Lego blocks would weigh the same as the object (always estimate first). Then we used balance scales to count the exact number of blocks.

We then estimated the weight of the object and used kitchen scales to weight the object. 

It was a busy week working on our Legoland projects - it kept children on task, thinking and motivated in the lead up to Christmas!


Currently December

Sorry there is no Maths Game Monday post today - time has got on top of me this week!

I did have done to link up with Farley at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for my currently!

There isn't much going on the TV at the moment, not worth commenting anyway - the air conditioner, well it was too hot for my liking today. 

Here's a picture of my advent calendar - I saw it last year, but then I had a gift card and 30% off, I just had to buy it! Our little Christmas decoration for this year is a nutcracker - we buy a new one every year - We just haven't got to decorating the tree quite yet.
As usual, I am trying to do too much and need more time, a sleep in and need it to be Friday.... overwhelmed!

My Mum always makes pecan pie and my brother always makes a lemon meringue pie on Christmas Day. We don't traditionally eat pies at Christmas in Australia, usually we have pudding instead, but Dad loves pie and so do we! It's the American in us!

Head on over and you can link up too!

Did you know TPT is having a sale at the moment? Use the code "CYBER" and you could save 28% off resources. Time to stock up for next year!
Thanks to Clever Classroom for the cute button
Here are some of my resources you might like heading into Christmas...


My Blake Education Wishlist....

Tuesday, Tuesday - a busy day today! Have I shared with you I am teaching Foundation (Prep/Kindergarten) next year? Well I am for the first time since 2007! Luckily I have had a few years in Grades 1/2 so while the jump from Grade 3/4 will be a big one, it won't be as huge as it could be! Today was our second transition day - we read some stories, played some games, went outside and had fun with the big kids at school!

Anyway, I am writing this post for two reasons. Reason 1 - to announce the winner of the Blake Education HUGE Giveaway, and reason 2 - to share what is on my Blake Education wish list now I know where I will be teaching!

The winner of this giveaway was Liz from Tasmania - congratulations Liz!

Now onto my wish list....
Since I am teaching Prep next year I really want these Bev Dunbar books! They are $20 each! Very excited!
I also need this one! I wanted to win it myself!
These integrated studies books look great for next year too!

P.S. Thanks for all the bloggy love over my computer - unfortunately I have lost everything, but it is a good lesson to back everything up!


Maths Game Monday Revisited

Hi all,

It is the start of another week - unfortunately, towards the end of last week my laptop crashed and I lost all my files (at this stage). The technician at school will need a couple of days to look at it and see if it is fixable, as well as trying to save my files. If you are reading this right now - go and back up your files right NOW!!! You never know what might happen to your computer!

As I have spent all weekend buying a new computer, loading programs onto it, rewriting my planner for this week and rewriting my report cards that I lost, I don't have a new Maths Game Monday for you today, instead, I decided to revisit a post from earlier in the early!

This past week, we have been playing paddocks as our warm up to our Area and Perimeter lessons. The children have loved it! We gave them a whole sheet of dots to work on and it certainly kept them busy - we played about 10 mins a day with the same partner for the week. If you missed this post, you can download it by clicking on the photo and following the link!
For all you loyal readers, I promise I will have my computer sorted and will have a new game for you next week!

Have a great week!


Down Under Blog Hop!

You've reached the Christmas Down Under Blog Hop with some of my blogging buddies. Welcome if you are a new follower!
I am the 6th Stop! If you want to head back to the start to get yourself some great Christmas then head on over to Land of Little Learners and start!
Here is my freebie for you. We are about to start our unit on poetry leading into Christmas - it is going to be fun! (You will just have to ignore that this is a maths blog and I am giving you a literacy resource!) You will get 30 topic cards plus two worksheets to use to help your children write a Christmas Cinquain Poem!
We would love some bloggy love and comments as you hop through each blog! Don't forget to follow us all as you go!
Now head on over to Miss Galvin Learns for your next stop and add another great freebie to your sack!

P.S. My Christmas Coupons - no cost gifts has had a facelift! Add it to your wish list now! You know it will come in very handy in a few weeks!

Summarise in 25 words!

Happy weekend everyone! Just a quick post to share a great activity we did this week.

We read this gorgeous book from our school Library called The Watcher. It was based on the true story of Jane Goodall and her life with the Chimps. It is written in such a beautiful way. I will definitely be looking out for more books by Jeanette Winter.

Even if it has nothing to do with your current theme or inquiry, I strongly suggest you find a copy and read it with the class. Our current Reading Comprehension topic is Summarising, so we summarised this book in 25 words. Wow! I thought it might be a bit tricky for the children, but so many finished it! Here are some examples!
1. Jane
2. chimpanzee
3. boat
4. David Greybeard
5. trees
6. jungle
7. Gombe
8. Kenya
9. Africa
10. Malaria
11. tent
12. watching
13. notes
14. Professor
15. assistants
16. speeches
17. protesting
18. studying
19. tantrum
20. tools
21. termites
22. quiet
23. sad
24. 1960
25. hills

How easy was that!

If you like this idea, I have made up a quick worksheet for you to use with your class. Two pages per page to save on printing and make sure you print the correct page "summarise" or "summarize"


Blake Education is Having a SALE!

All Australian Teachers would have heard of Blake Education. Whether you know it or not, I am sure you have used a book published by Blake Education. By far my favourite is Targeting Maths. Not only does my school have the Targeting Maths books, but I also have the apps on my iPad. My last school LOVED the computer programs and we used it constantly in the classroom.

Well….. I am very excited to announce that Blake Education is giving all Australian readers of my blog  a chance to win a TARGETING MATHS BLM pack worth $178.50 in celebrations of their end of year sales. I really want to win this, alas…..

The Targeting Maths Series is a comprehensive resource for Primary Schools. It has been designed to provide busy teachers with all the additional material they need when teaching mathematics. All aspects of the primary mathematics curriculum are covered in this twelve book series.

As Blake Education is an Australian company, this giveaway is only for Australian residents. If you enter this give-away and do not live in Australia, a new winner will be chosen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

So you have entered my giveaway, but you want to know more about Blake Education?

I went into their
section and found some books that I have wanted my own copy for ages! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Bev Dunbar books. Two of schools I have worked in have had copies but I have wanted my own for a long time! I will be heading to the sales to buy them - they are only $20!!!! There are 10 books so I will have to be quick! Fingers crossed I am teaching early primary next year so I can use them straight away!

If you miss out on the giveaway, you can also buy all of the Targeting Maths books in the sales for $14.95 off. Well all love a bargain! Of course there are English books, Science and Integrated Studies books for sale too!

After you have filled up your shopping cart in the crazy sales section, then you can head to the
and pick up some great bargains with guided reading sets, home readers and novels! I am very tempted by some of the Big Books - especially the Targeting Maths Big Books!

These books are all part of Blake Education's end of year sales! Save up to 65% on Best-selling Literacy Readers such as Gigglers and Go Facts as well as quality Arts, English, Maths and Science Teacher Resources. Visit for literacy or visit for teacher resources.

You can also follow Blake Education on Facebook for all the latest news!


It's That Time Again! Math Game Monday

This is a simple game that was shown to us by Andrea Hillbrick, and can be used at any year level! It is simply a counting game. I used it last week in my class - it was amazing how confident the children became with they counting skills across the week (we played it everyday) and by the end of the week, the children were making up the numbers and choosing what to do to each number!

Click on the instruction sheet to download.

For Australian Teachers

Thank you to Jessica Weible for the cute background.

All previous Math Game Monday's are available on the Math Game Monday Page. 

Enjoy and have a great week!

A BIG book of Math-tivities!

I am super excited about this blog post today. I was contacted and asked to review "The Crawfords' BIG Book of Math-tivities" by Brian and Yvonne Crawford and I jumped at the chance!

Firstly, this really is a BIG book of Math-tivities. It is 178 pages of fun activities for children aged K to 2nd Grade!

The best thing about his book, is that everything is printable and ready to go and won't require any preparation from you other than some laminating if you want to keep the task cards to use over and over again (and I know you will!).

Math-tivities include:

  • Mathbooking - a new combination of math journals and scrapbooking
  • Math Glphs - students answer math questions to create a personal work of art
  • Math and Tell - combines storytelling with math word problems
  • Math Games and Puzzles - brand-new math games to entertain students while they learn
  • Taking Math Outside - use the great outdoors as your new location for math class
  • Holiday Math - use special seasons of the year for showcasing math instruction

Here are some pictures of my favourite activities:
These questions are from the Mathbooking section. I can see myself using these as warm ups with the children on the Interaction Whiteboard as a whole class. OR laminating them and using them in math centres. OR using them for fast finishers!
These Math Libs are very fun. Children solve the questions, read the sentence and fill in the correct word based on their math answer. A great way to combine reading with math!
As math teachers, we love any reason to head outside, so these ideas are great! Activities can easily be differentiated too!
Anyone who has been following my blog for a while will know how much I LOVE putting questions around the classroom and sending children off on a hunt to find the questions and figure out the answers. They love getting up and about! I would use these questions in exactly the same way, laminate and put around the classroom for children to go on a scavenger hunt!

As you can see on the pictures, the Common Core standard is included, along with all the information. But don't let that discourage Non-USA users, anyone can use it! Full, very comprehensive instructions are included in the booklet - with each activity explained thoroughly so teachers are able to optimise the learning of their class.

My only wish - that there was one that covered 2nd to 4th Grade! Perhaps that is still coming….

I know you are going to know more about this great resources, you can check out their website here. You can purchase your own copy of The Crawfords' BIG Book of Math-tivities here - both digital and hard copy (I do love book books!). You can also download your FREE SAMPLE! It will also be available on TpT and Amazon soon.

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