Math Manipulatives


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.

Grades: 2-5

Technology Resource Used



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

Geometry and Spatial Sense

Number Sense, Concepts, and Operations

ESOL teaching strategies that apply to this learning activity:

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

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