Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2017 Proceedings
Publication year: 2017
Pages: 3423-3429
ISBN: 978-84-697-6957-7
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2017.0936
Conference name: 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2017
Location: Seville, Spain
Mathematics is a dynamic subject, in which the use of manipulative and easy-to-use tools favours the acquisition of concepts, the visualization of mathematical methods and the learning of easy mathematical rules, allowing this way an active learning that evolves according to the intellectual development of each participant, which is the centre of the teaching-learning process, becoming him in its leader.

Manipulative tools belong to the great group of didactic tools that are used today and that have been only created to improve the understanding of maths in the classroom. These tools allow the teachers to work in a funnier way one or more parts of the subject. There exist a great variety of applications, many of these are described on this work: Geoplane, Tangram, Numerical scales…etc. All of these, used as resources in the phases of Primary and Secondary education, provide the student a better understanding of the contents. Although it is true that exist an initial difficulty in its integration in the official syllabus, problem that can delay the subjects programs and decrease the time used for other traditional activities. The final results and level of knowledge achieved by the students support its use as a learning tool, being more and more the educative centres that use these methods in their classrooms, aware of the benefits that they provide.

In this work, an algebraic LEGO has been used as a manipulative tool to teach second degree equations, including its use in the mathematics programme as a pedagogical strategy. This tool is interesting in terms of: firstly, because it orientates and motivates the student’s autonomous learning, favouring the process of construction and representation of mathematical ideas and, secondly, because it provides integration of the students who have special educative needs, mainly the needs from students with auditory impairments or linguistic and cultural differences when they share the same classroom, allowing the development of the same mathematical skills in all of them.

The method for solving second degree equations using this methodology is based on the construction of rectangles or squares from the LEGO bricks, being these geometric figures those which represent the equation to solve, whose solutions are obtained by the root test. Its use in the classroom has brought important benefits in the first cycle of secondary, especially in the second year of the ESO, when the students study for the first time these type of equations, improving their understanding and encouraging them. Also, a guide for introducing this methodology in the classroom has been carried out, indicating the skills that the students develop, how it can be integrated in the secondary syllabus and showing some examples.
Algebraic LEGO, second degree equations, manipulative tool, compulsory secondary education.