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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.

See this innovation in action.

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


Inspired to implement this? Here's how...

Get the needed supplies
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Use the manual to get to know the supplies
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Use the supplies as a part of your own teaching
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Contact the EMMA Math team
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Connect with the innovator

Ville Lintervo
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