by Maria Sofou
Alycia Zimmerman, a 3rd-grade teacher in New York, found the perfect way to use LEGOs!
Apart from their obvious awesomeness as a childhood toy, Zimmerman saw their educational side and uses them as a first-class math education aid! The teacher uses the LEGOs to explain fractions, squares and other mathematical concepts to children that our first guess is that math arrays are not their favorite thing in the world. Such creative thinking!
“Chances are that if you are a parent or teacher, you already know, at least in theory, that these sturdy plastic blocks have huge intrinsic educational value. 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. Let’s face it though – many elementary school teachers are women who, like me, did not grow up as LEGO experts. And until you’ve had some firsthand experience playing around with the blocks, you may not be comfortable using it as a teaching tool. So, here is my plea: Find some LEGO bricks in a storage closet or basement, and take some time exploring how they work. Count the studs, explore the dimensions, build some towers. And I guarantee, you’ll now be thinking … MATH,” Alycia Zimmerman explains.