# An OPERATION and a game

845 431 x 3? Try this multiplication with LEGO Braille Bricks and the help of Melissa Fanshawe. Then, you've earned a game!

Written by Melissa Fanshawe

Oct. 9. 2023

845 431 x 3? Sounds like you need a lot of LEGO bricks! Just kidding, of course. Melissa Fanshawe knows how to help students cope with multiplication and... just a few LEGO Braille Bricks!

Okay so I've got my same base plate for this

activity but we're now moving to operations.

And I haven't put back the millions because

I've just got a hundred thousands,

and hundreds, tens, and ones in my thousands house,

and I've got hundreds, tens, and ones in my units

or my ones which you can call whichever one you want.

Now I've kept my same number there that we just did from our previous activity in number

and I of course have my double double numbers so that we're knowing that everything coming along here is now

numbers.

What we're actually going to do

is we're going to multiply this all by 3.

Now, for our students we have some numbers

down the bottom so they can use those.

I do have a big box beside me

with the numbers already in their category.

So I actually have a plastic box and all of the numbers and letters are divided by their number and letter

so that it's easy for students to be able to get out if we require some more.

Now the other little thing that I have down the bottom

is a little minifigure

and this one is police person and that was just a little LEGO figure that I started using for my students

as they had done some songs or some operations,

if and just so that they could have a little reward

when they had finished

so don't mind him he's just sitting there and ready.

All right so this first activity that I'm going to do is, I am going to multiply this number that I have,

which is 854 431 and I'm going to multiply that by 3.

And so, what I want to be able to do is I need our

students to know that we actually start at the ones house

and so when we're multiplying 1 by 3

it means that we've got 1 here and we are going

to multiply them by 3.

So I have 3 manipulatives and I have just shown

that I had 1 but now

it's 3 times that amount which is 3.

So down the bottom here I would go 1 times 3

and I would make a 3.And again like I said before,

I've seen some really really great 3D place value systems that people have made on some other videos,

so please do use something that works for yourself.

This really helps students to have an

understanding of setting out I've found,

and how it sits in the place value system. It's not going

to work for all students but it's just one idea

that you might want to use. So the next one is 3

times 3 which is going to be 9

and also students are going to have to have a good understanding

of the symbolic numbers so that there would be

past the manipulatives and they would be starting

to understand you know this place value system.

But the manipulatives could be there in case they

couldn't work it out. So if they couldn't work out

3 times 3, they could get 3 into 3 groups and work

out that the answer was 9. All right so the next

one is 4 by 3 now this answer is 12 so I'm going

to grab 12 and I'm going to put the 2 down there

and I've got 1 left over but it's not actually

1 it's it's 1 in the next house so you can,

when students carry that over you can actually

put that there so that it's sitting there and it's

ready to go and people use that in different

houses, they put it in different places,

in different countries. So you could put it

wherever you want to have it.

Okay so the next one is 3 x 4.Oh again 12. But this time I've actually

got my 1 here already so it's now going to be 13.

So I actually need to get the 3

put it down here

and put my one back up here

Okay 5 x 3 are 15 but I've already got 1 again so it's now going to be

16.

Okay which is pretty handy having this little thing here

actually to tell you the trick and I've got 3 x 8 to 24

but again I've got another 1 so now it's going to be 25 so I need to get a 20, a 2 and a 5.

So I put down a 5 and I've got a 2 left over which guess what I did actually need

my Millions house over here so that was required and we have hundreds, tens, and ones, and I can pop the millions back on there

and understand why we need to do that. So our total number

if I multiply 854 431 multiplied by 3 is 2 563 293.

So now I need to get another little LEGO

figure for having completed the task!

If your student has worked hard to find the result of 845 431 x 3 (= 2 536 293 !), he or she definitely deserves a break with this game. A maths game, of course, designed to show students that maths is also useful in real life.

After my students have been busy doing lots

of work and they have gained three little

mini action figures, I like to play a game with

them. That is just to break up the working but

also to be able to have fun, to be able to work

together, to be able to play and to have a lot of

joy with what we're doing with maths. And I also

want them to see how maths is used in real life,

to be able to interact with other people. So

the activity that I'm going to show you today

is very much based on dominoes and that is

because you can have two players, you can

have three players, you can have four players.

But it's just a little twist to that and I guess

the reason that I love this activity is it stemmed

from one that Mark actually showed me where it

was he plays this game called battleships and the

students put forward a number each and the biggest

one gets to keep them all. Well this one is very

similar but it is based on as I said dominoes. Now

at the beginning or at the front of the screen I

have actually randomly out of the bowl you have

selected seven numbers. So you have a 3, a 1, an

8, a 9, a 5, an 8 and an 8 so you did pretty well

there were some big numbers but that may not help

you in this game! All right and I also have seven

numbers selected. Now the reason that I have

not put these down onto your numbers down onto

the board is because I'm going to spin the board

in this game. And if you have a lazy Susan that

is fabulous for this activity but if not you

can just spin the board so that is fine. Now

in this activity the first person is going to

start and you're lucky because you've got a big

hand to start and I don't know how that's going

to go all the way to the end but anyway let's have

a go. Now you've probably noticed that I haven't

done one thing okay, I hadn't set up my game board

with the double number system which means that

everything now going onto it is a number. So let's

start with a number 9. Okay now in this activity

to make the dominoes go with the number 9 my side

or my turn what I actually have to do is try and

find something that makes up 9. So I have 6, 6 and

3 so I'm going to put 6 and 3 after the number 9.

Okay so 9 is 6 plus 3 and then it's now your turn

and you have to make up the number 3. Now I could

have been a bit nicer and put 3 and then 6 because

making up 6 would be slightly easier than making

up 9 but I wasn't so it didn't happen! So you have

to make up 3! But fortunately for you, you have

8 minus 5. You have an 8 and a 5 so you could do

eight minus 5 which then made 3. Now you can, as

I said, put your board on a lazy Susan or I've

just put it back onto my slope board and then

it's easy to pass between people because they

do want it up the right way if you've got two

people sitting across from each other it makes

a little bit hard when one's ups and down trying

to read their Lego Braille Bricks. But this can

be played by four players, five players, how many

players you wanna want to play so that person went

3 is 8 minus 5 so I've got 5. Oh I've actually got

5 times 1 so you can do any multiplication that

you like. It could be any operation, it could

be multiplication, division, anything you like

to make the previous number and that's how we can

play Lego Braille Bricks domino in our classroom.

Melissa Fanshawe is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Southern

Queensland, School of Education, where she teaches pre-service teachers

how to teach mathematics to students in their classrooms. She is also a

trained teacher of students with visual impairments.