Leilani

By Leilani

LifeBuzz Staff

This Teacher Uses LEGO To Teach Math To Children, And It’s Surprisingly Simple.

As a Multiple Subjects Instructor, I understand how difficult it is for students to learn math. I have seen the dread in their eyes and felt the heaviness of their sighs. I see the switch, however, once they 'get it,' and it's a rewarding experience. However, this doesn't happen overnight. As teachers, we must craft creative and real world lessons, or our students' motivations to learn will drop.

Alycia Zimmerman is one teacher who understands this well. Zimmerman teaches a third grade Gifted and Talented class at P.S. 33 Chelsea Prep in Manhattan, where she has worked for eight years. She is well decorated with degrees from Princeton and Fordham, and was selected as one of Scholastic's five bloggers of the 3,000 that applied. What's the secret to her success? Brains, creativity, hard work and... LEGO bricks.

Zimmerman wrote on her official blog:

As an adult, I’ve come to appreciate LEGO, both for its rectilinear aesthetic, and even more so, for its mathematical might. In the classroom, the tiny bricks are now my favorite possibility-packed math manipulative!

See some of her work below:

Third grade teacher Alycia Zimmerman has tackled one of the toughest subjects through the creative use of LEGO bricks.

Third grade teacher Alycia Zimmerman has tackled one of the toughest subjects through the creative use of LEGO bricks.

Alycia Zimmerman

Fractions can be one of the most frustrating areas for students, but look how easily it's broken down with LEGO bricks.

Fractions can be one of the most frustrating areas for students, but look how easily it's broken down with LEGO bricks.

Alycia Zimmerman

LEGO bricks allow students to see what's happening in a fraction problem. Without visuals, they easily get lost in the numbers.

LEGO bricks allow students to see what's happening in a fraction problem. Without visuals, they easily get lost in the numbers.

Alycia Zimmerman

Comparing fractions with different denominators can be especially difficult, but (effective) practice makes perfect!

Comparing fractions with different denominators can be especially difficult, but (effective) practice makes perfect!

Alycia Zimmerman

The blocks can also help students discover factors. For the number 48, your students might know 1 and 48.

The blocks can also help students discover factors. For the number 48, your students might know 1 and 48.

Alycia Zimmerman

By using 2x4 bricks, we can divide the block into 6 parts.

By using 2x4 bricks, we can divide the block into 6 parts.

Alycia Zimmerman

Using 2x2 bricks, we can divide the block into 12 parts.

Using 2x2 bricks, we can divide the block into 12 parts.

Alycia Zimmerman

Using 2x1 bricks, we can divide the block into 24 parts.

Using 2x1 bricks, we can divide the block into 24 parts.

Alycia Zimmerman

'Why is it called a square number?' asks a student. Here you have it.

'Why is it called a square number?' asks a student. Here you have it.

Alycia Zimmerman

These 'toys' can even be used to explain and solve for mean, median, and mode. Wonderful job, Mrs. Zimmerman!

These 'toys' can even be used to explain and solve for mean, median, and mode. Wonderful job, Mrs. Zimmerman!

Alycia Zimmerman

Sources: Alycia Zimmerman, deMilked, Scholastic

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