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Concrete tools for learning mathematics


Marker Espoo, Finland
This method boosts mathematical thinking skills, such as understanding the concept of numbers and reasoning skills. The method uses quantity blocks that were developed for this innovation as well as simple practice templates and exercise for using the blocks.

What is it all about?

Ville Lintervo
“At first we wanted to build support for students who had difficulties in mathematics. We achieved more when we doubled down on teaching counting. Students’ skills improved – and so did student motivation and confidence in their own skills.”

Maarit Laitinen, Mother of Emma, Inventor

Mathematical thinking is needed every day. It is important that from the very beginning, students see mathematics as a subject in which there are several different solutions and points of view. The aim is to strengthen the concept of numbers, build a sense of self-efficacy, and to spark curiosity.

With EMMA Math we can help students build a positive attitude towards mathematics and support the development of mathematical thinking. The EMMA Math tools especially develop the understanding of numbers, upon which later mathematical understanding is built on.

Students learn by interacting with concrete tools. The tools promote learning in all children, but are especially beneficial for students who have difficulties with understanding mathematics.

The EMMA Math method combines tangibility with deduction: students get to know phenomena related to numbers and counting in an active way. A key step is producing mathematical language, which means deduction, explanation and experimentation.

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Intended Outcomes
5 - 10
Age Group
Resources Needed
EMMA-quantity blocks, manual, practice templates, exercises
HundrED Criteria
Understanding counting is an essential stepping stone for success in later mathematical studies. The tools developed aid this process.
Using Emma Math improves learning results, learner motivation and builds students’ confidence in their own skills.
The innovation can be implemented anywhere because the quantity blocks are not exclusive to any language or culture.

How do you implement it?


Get the needed supplies

You will need the physical product, meaning the quantity blocks, the manual, the practice templates and exercises.

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Supply costs can vary from dozens to hundreds of euros depending on the products. In Finland you can find supplies at www.earlylearning.fi and elsewhere at www.emmamath.com.


Use the manual to get to know the supplies

The manual is simple and easy to understand. Implementing the supplies will be quick and easy.

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Use the supplies as a part of your own teaching

The tools can work as part of a lesson or you can build your lesson around on them. They can be used with the whole group, in pairs or individually with a teacher.

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Contact the EMMA Math team

If you want to dive deeper into the EMMA Math method, contact us! We welcome you to experiment and develop the EMMA Math products together with the team!

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What does it look like in practice?

Used in
“Emma has been tested in Finnish classrooms since 2010.”
HundrED specialist
The four languages of math. Click the image to get it bigger.
emma esitys v2
Emmamath - four languages of math


What are others saying?


Ask about this innovation


Want to reach out to the innovators?

Ville Lintervo