Math Manipulatives

Overview

The use of math manipulatives to teach math concepts increases the student's ability to grasp skills and concepts. By using a set of math manipulatives that one could create in a HyperStudio stack, students are able to carry this understanding one step further.

Technology Resource Used

HyperStudio

Description

Several lessons were used to show ways to use math manipulatives. The first lesson involved patterning. Students spent several lessons exploring patterns with pattern blocks. The teacher led discussions about patterning and what makes a pattern. She also discussed the difference between a repeating pattern and a design. Students used the pattern blocks to build patterns. Finally the students traced or drew their patterns on paper. At this point, the teacher introduced the students to a set of math manipulatives created on HyperStudio. Students were given some quick directions on how to copy and paste shapes by using the "tools". They also watched as the teacher demonstrated how to flip blocks to make them fit into the pattern. Each student was given the opportunity to build their pattern on the computer. Students loved recreating their pattern on the computer. They problem solved how to flip a shape and make it fit into their pattern. Two examples of student patterns are shown below.

Another time that students used math manipulatives was when we were introducing the concept of multiplication. Students worked with manipulatives at their desk to build arrays. They wrote an addition sentence and a multiplication sentence to match their array. Next they did the same activity on HyperStudio using the math manipulatives. Two examples of their work are shown below.

Focus On Technology

These activities used HyperStudio. They gave students more practice using manipulatives. They also gave students practice transferring from paper to the computer. Having to flip the math manipulatives was good geometry practice that made the students visualize how the manipulative must be turned to fit in the pattern. For sample lessons on geometry visit "Geometry and Spatial Sense" by Dr. Jan Flake, Florida State University

Florida Sunshine State Standards that apply to this learning activity:

Algebraic Thinking

• Standard 1: The student describes, analyzes, and generalizes a wide variety of patterns, relations, and functions.

Geometry and Spatial Sense

• Standard 1: The student describes, draws, identifies, and analyzes two-and three-dimensional shapes.
• Standard 2: The student visualizes and illustrates ways in which shapes can be combined, subdivided, and changed.

Number Sense, Concepts, and Operations

• Standard 1: The student understands the different ways numbers are represented and used in the real world.
• Standard 3: The student understands the effects of operations on numbers and the relationships among these operations, selects appropriate operations, and computes for problem solving.

ESOL teaching strategies that apply to this learning activity:

• Keep ESOL students a part of the group, not isolated
• Use peer tutors
• Use cooperative and collaborative groups
• Rather than ask if the student understands, check to see if they demonstrate understanding
• Use multisensory approach to presenting information
• Present new information in small, sequential steps
• Have key points written on chart or board and use pictures when possible
• Summarize key points throughout each section of the lesson
• Grade on knowledge of content rather than linguistic skills
• Use realia (authentic objects from a culture) or manipulatives whenever possible

A more comprehensive list of strategies is provided in the ESOL research section of this web site.