Monday, June 9, 2008

Math Manipulatives

In April of 2005, a group of teachers from North East Ontario got together for a regional Leading Math Success working session and created introductory videos and powerpoints for six Math manipulatives. These were then used in local training events. When I let the participants know that they had been posted to a popular video sharing site, I got lots of replies and recollections about how worthwhile a professional development experience people thought it was - fodder for Judy's resume! The full collection of files has been posted for a while.

Algebra Tiles

Colour Tiles

Connecting Cubes

Fraction Circles

My contribution was a Geometer's Sketchpad sketch - a Fraction Circle tool and virtual manipulative.


Pattern Blocks


shana said...

I found your blog through a search for math manipulatives. I invented a new math manipulative to help with integer addition and subtraction, particularly between one positive and one negative number. It’s called the ZeroSum Ruler and you can see all about it on my blog at . It really helped my students (thesis page), actually decreasing their errors by 62% on a delayed retention quiz a month after the last of three activities. I’d like for more people to know about it.

I don’t know about your district, but in Boston, negative numbers are allotted a total of 20 days: 4 in 3rd grade (the last 4 days of 3rd grade, that is, through TERC Investigations second edition), and 16 in 7th grade (through CMP2) when the kids finally do problems like “3 – 8 =”. I developed this tool straight from a need to teach my algebra students how to solve equations, especially when one side of the equation goes negative (ie: solve for x: 25x + 16 = 3x + 9).

I’d love it if you checked out the ZeroSum Ruler and gave me your feedback. I know it’s for kids a bit older, but I do think that it might be able to push negative numbers to an earlier grade because it makes them concrete. Happy Holidays!

Alex Quinn 82 said...

There math
manipulatives are very advanced! I usually tend to only find manipulatives that are geared towards pre-k aged children. Thanks for sharing!