Books by Professor Help Parents and Educators Teach Math with Legos

HIGH POINT, N.C., June 6, 2016 – Dr. Shirley Disseler, associate professor in the School of Education at High Point University, published the first title in a 10-book series aimed at helping teachers and parents teach math in an engaging and accessible way.

From left to right, HPU STEM Camp participants Cyrus Hartley and Cameron Hodger, Disseler, and HPU graduate students Kaitlyn Hutter and Lisa Tripp work with Lego robotics at the STEM Camp last summer.

From left to right, HPU STEM Camp participants Cyrus Hartley and Cameron Hodger, Disseler, and HPU graduate students Kaitlyn Hutter and Lisa Tripp work with Lego robotics at the STEM Camp last summer.

Disseler’s Brick Math Series, published by Brigantine Media’s Compass Publishing, uses a common toy, Lego bricks, to teach math basics for students in elementary and middle grades.

“Legos are universal, multicultural – they are something all kids and adults can understand,” says Disseler. “Teaching math doesn’t require special tools. By using something familiar like Lego bricks that are available in the classroom and at home, students are more likely to be engaged in what they are learning.”

The first book, “Teaching Fractions Using Lego Bricks,” provides hands-on activities students can do at school or at home. The next two books in the series, which focus on teaching multiplication and division using Lego bricks, will be released later this summer.

The first three books cover subjects regularly included in end-of-grade testing for third through eighth grades. The teaching methods have been tested in local school districts, and some of the activities have been developed through HPU’s community and school-based Lego programs.

Disseler’s Lego connection has brought thousands of people to HPU’s campus for numerous community events, 16 teacher academies and three executive events. HPU hosts Lego field trips for local schoolchildren throughout the year. In total, more than 10,200 children have been reached across all of the university’s Lego programs.

HPU STEM Camp participants, HPU graduate students and Disseler, are featured at the rocket launch for the first-ever HPU STEM Camp last summer.

HPU STEM Camp participants, HPU graduate students and Disseler, are featured at the rocket launch for the first-ever HPU STEM Camp last summer.

The events help undergraduate and graduate students in the HPU School of Education gain valuable experience and feedback in teaching techniques and classroom management.

“There is a creativity crisis in America that is somewhat attributed to the manner in which we have traditionally trained teachers. Lego Education has given our program at HPU the opportunity to expand creativity and reach outside the norm,” says Disseler. “School districts are seeking out our graduates because of their knowledge of Lego.”

HPU will be hosting its second STEM camp, which includes Lego bricks in its programming, June 20-30. The camp will host more than 50 children for experiential learning in science, technology, engineering and math.

Disseler is chair of the Department of Elementary and Middle Grades Education and the STEM Coordinator for the BA to M.Ed. Program in HPU’s School of Education. She has more than 25 years of educational experience. She is also a Master Trainer for Lego Education and has assisted in the development and testing of several Lego Education products.

For more information about the series and book availability, visit http://goo.gl/lMvs1n.

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