## “Teaching Aid”

USING LEGO IN TEACHING NUMBER PATTERNS AND

CONCEPT OF AREA

A. Introduction

Many people think that mathematics is very unpleasant, very difficult, and meaningless. They just imagine that mathematics is identically with complicated numbers, many long term equations which are hard to memorize and to understand. Several students moreover think that mathematics such a burden and scary lessons. There are some opinions implanted in students’ mind before learning math. As the consequence, most of the students achieve bad for this lesson. Those opinions are:

1. Mathematics’ formula is to memorize

This makes the students are lazy to learn and finally they got nothing. But actually mathematics is not a memorizing lesson. It is about concept understanding. Memorizing math formula will be meaningless moreover if they didn’t understand the concept.

2. Mathematics is an abstract knowledge and has no relation with real life

This term is definitely wrong. The fact shows that math is a very realistic knowledge. It is such an analogue of the real life. It is proved by many inventions and research of mathematics in such sectors as economy, technology, demography, social, and many others where math has a very significant role for it.

3. Mathematics is boring and rigid

This opinion isn’t true. Although mathematics problem generally has only one solution it allows many ways to reach that solution. It means that mathematics isn’t rigid.

(Mallarangan, 2009).

To prevent those opinions, we have to change our mathematics learning teaching process to be more applicative and real. The topic or the way we teach should consider the students’ necessary. We have to implant and ensure that the students love mathematics. One way is to habit them finding the concept through game or easy-learning-condition. For this case, I will try to give some illustrations about using Lego in teaching number patterns and concept of area.

B. Introduction to Lego

Lego is a line of construction toys with a colorful interlocking plastic bricks and an accompanying array of gears, mini figures, and various other parts. Lego bricks can be assembled and connected in many ways to construct some objects. (Christiansen, 2007).

This game is very popular toward the children. Not only kindergarten students but also elementary, junior, until senior high school. Playing with Lego can help us to increase creativeness, thinking on patterns, and many others.

Here are the examples of Lego:

Generally, lego consist of two elements, are:

1. Grand Base

The grand base is the basic larger interlocking bricks on which the bricks are assembled. This is to ensure that the lego is well arranged.

2. Interlocking bricks

Interlocking brick is separated bricks that we are going to assemble.

C. Lego as a Teaching Aid

A teaching aid is a tool used by teachers, facilitators, or tutors to:

- help learners improve reading and other skills,

- illustrate or reinforce a skill, fact, or idea, and

- relieve anxiety, fears, or boredom, since many teaching aids are like games.

(SIL, 1999).

Based on those three requirements, I think lego can also be used, as a teaching aid, in some certain subjects include mathematics. Playing lego can improve the students’ skill in building or constructing some forms and analyzing pattern skill. Besides that, it can also help the students to reinforce and illustrate the idea in their mind by constructing some on the grand base. The most important also is by using lego the students will not be anxious, afraid, and bored in learning especially mathematics.

This media is made of terraced papers and colored papers. He used this media to teach number patterns. After observing the media, I guess that using lego will be more interesting to the students.

Here, I’m going to show you two concepts that can be taught using lego. However there are many other concepts that are available to be taught using lego too.

1. Using Lego in Teaching Number Pattern

According to the recent curriculum applied in Indonesia, number pattern is learned in the 6th and the 7th grade. Basically, number pattern emphasizes on students ability to analyze some certain ordered numbers. The task is to determine the term in a certain position. The ordered numbers is actually can be represented by the number of lego brick assembled to construct a certain pattern. Therefore, the students can be easier to find the pattern.

There are some steps that the teachers should do in teaching this lesson by using lego, are:

a. Teacher tells students the learning objectives

b. Teacher takes the grand base of lego

c. Teacher shows the students how to play lego and show them the 1st term

d. Students and teacher construct the 1st until the 3rd term together

e. Teacher ask the students to continue playing lego and identifying the number pattern

f. Students present the pattern they get from playing lego

g. Teacher checks students work by identifying the number pattern in front of the class and asks the students to make conclusion.

2. Using Lego in Teaching Concept of Area

Based on curriculum, the area of a plane figure is firstly learned in 5th and 6th grade of elementary school. I found that most students nowadays did not understand the concept of area eventhough they can finish the questions on that term. Most of students only memorize the formula of finding area of a plane figure but they didn’t understand the concept. So with, if the students are given non-basic plane figure, it will be difficult for them to find the area. For that, we can use lego as the solution to teach the concept of area to the students either directly on indirectly.

There are some steps that the teachers should do in teaching this lesson by using lego, are:

a. Teacher tells students the learning objectives

b. Teacher tells the students the concept of area

c. Teacher takes the grand base of lego and mark a certain area in grand-base that will be measured

d. Students are asked to close the area by interlocking the brick

e. Teacher tells the students the marked area by counting the brick gears.

f. Teacher gives another marked area and asks the students to find the area themselves.

g. Teacher checks the students’ work and help the students to make conclusion.

REFFERENCES

Christiansen, Ole Klirk. 2007. Lego. Accessed on December 30th, 2010 through website http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lego.

Mallarangan. 2009. Meruntuhkan Mitos Matematika yang Menakutkan Menjadi Menyenangkan. Accessed on January 4th, 2011 through website http://apakabarpsbg.wordpress.com/2009/01/19/meruntuhkan-mitos-matematika-yang-menakutkan-menjadi-menyenangkan/

SIL International. 1999. What is a Teaching Aid? Accessed on December 30th, 2010. http://www.sil.org/lingualinks/literacy/referencematerials/glossaryofliterayterms/whatisateachingaid.htm

Unit Laboratorium Matematika PPPPTK Matematika. Unknown. Daftar Alat Peraga Matematika. Accessed on December 30th, 2010 through website http://4tkmatematika.org/alatperaga/Daftar%20Alat%20Peraga%20Matematika%20gambar.pdf