Teaching with math manipulatives
Helping children understand math
Teaching with math manipulatives helps children understand math concepts. Hands on learning or learning by doing keeps the students' attention as they naturally want to play with and explore objects.
When children can touch and move manipulatives or real things when learning new skills, their senses are involved in the learning experience.
Children benefit when they are able to fully understand new concepts with concrete materials before they are expected to understand the same ideas with symbols.
Hands on Math 1, 2, 3s
Stages of hands on learning in math are often called:
- representational or connecting
The terms "concrete materials" and "manipulatives" are most often used to describe educational learning materials that are real or physical and tangible, for example, blocks, counters, popsicle sticks, pattern blocks, and base ten blocks.
The "concrete stage" occurs when children use only real objects to demonstrate an idea.
The "representational, connecting or pictorial stage" happens when children work with concrete objects as well as drawing pictures or diagrams to record their learning.
The "abstract" stage is when children use only symbols - numbers, words, pictures, or diagrams to represent their thinking.