Lego Up! NYC teacher uses these fundamental blocks to teach her students math

Introducing the much familiar Lego block as building block for understanding fractions

More creative capacity
Fractions and even just general math concepts never came very easy to me. Much like most kids that struggled with these analytical applications, I excelled in a more creative capacity, like painting and sculpting. I only wish my teacher was as dexterous for applying fun methods that we were already familiar with to learn more challenging mathematical procedures. As for Ms. Alycia Zimmerman, a 3rd grade teacher in New York, she seems to be on the right track, by introducing the much familiar Lego block as building block for understanding fractions, square numbers and other math concepts.

It is clear by Zimmerman’s summary in Scholastic that she understands the intrinsic value upheld by Lego blocks. She explains it as, “Along with the obvious creative implications, while children play with LEGO blocks, they are also building their spatial and proportional awareness. Advanced LEGO kits are even used on the high school and college level for computer programming, robotics, and more.”She explains how the basic lego is great for “part-part-total” when young students first navigate through addition and subtraction. The Lego blocks are perfect for this as they come in various sizes with also studs of two to help children visualize parts of a number, while
grouping them to make a whole.

Then with more complicated methods of arrays, multiplication, and squaring numbers, she applies Legos to help deconstruct these sometimes intricate lessons. Since studs are always on a grid, it makes it easy for kids to visualize the arrays and work out squaring a number by counting the studs across and down, working out their squared power.

Fractions are probably the most important component with Lego integration, allowing students to breakdown the whole of a number into parts and figure in addition and subtraction of these parts with a common variable. It almost seems like Legos were not only build for entertainment but learning in general. Zimmerman does a spectacular job of integrating a common toy to understand harder math concepts.


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