1 Università di Napoli Parthenope (ITALY)
2 Università di Perugia (ITALY)
3 Università di Salerno (ITALY)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN21 Proceedings
Publication year: 2021
Pages: 657-664
ISBN: 978-84-09-31267-2
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2021.0184
Conference name: 13th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-6 July, 2021
Location: Online Conference
The game, since ancient times, has represented a privileged dimension in children's maturation and growth processes. From Piagetian studies to Freudian theories, the idea attested is that by playing children learn to manage and cope with the outside world by making contact with reality.

In fact the game can take on different connotations and pass from a free, spontaneous game to a structured game, with a regulatory function and a strongly oriented structure. The different types of elements, that make up the structured material, are with each other in a relationship of equality, order or symmetry in accordance with some variables that characterize their essence: the shape, the colour, the dimensions, the consistency, the manipulability, etc. Jean Piaget emphasized, unequivocally, how knowledge passes from the need to concretely manipulate objects and actions on objects in the world to the ability to mentally represent them in an increasingly abstract and symbolic way. The thesis that here we intend to support is that an appropriate and varied use of structured materials (and, specifically, Lego® bricks due to their particular configuration) favours the acquisition of some mathematical concepts as processes and as objects.

Starting from reflections on the use of structured materials in the teaching of Mathematics at school, we focused on the usefulness of Lego® bricks. In particular, we present a project concerning the study of arithmetic multiplication and its properties, to be presented to 6-7 year old primary school students. The activities will be effectively realized thanks to the collaboration with a start-up dedicated to the promotion of scientific culture and the teaching of S.T.E.M.

The project as a whole foresees to deal with various topics within the curricular path of primary and lower secondary school. They are faced according to criteria that are not the traditional ones of school times and ways but for "connected concepts": starting from the proposal of a problem we try to dissect mathematical concepts that derive from its resolution, according to paths / guide suggested by the teachers and by the operative files. For example, in the pilot project aimed at a second class, multiplication in the set of natural numbers and its properties are dealt with and, through the guidance of the teacher, we then move on to address the concepts of similarity, fully exploiting the potential characteristic of Lego® bricks; it is possible, in fact, to deal with the latter notion both in the plane and, above all, in the three-dimensional space.
Game, multiplication, bricks, knowledge, STEM.