Article, Book Resources

How to Make the Most of Math Manipulatives!

By Marilyn Burns
  • Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

You find them in classrooms across the nation–buckets of pattern blocks; trays of tiles and cubes; and collections of geoboards, tangrams, counters, and spinners. They've been touted as a way to help students learn math more easily. But many teachers still ask: Are manipulatives a fad? How do I fit them into my sure students see them as learning tools, not toys? How can I communicate their value to parents? Are they useful for upper-grade students, too?

I've used manipulative materials at all levels for 30 years, and I'm convinced Ican't–and shouldn't–teach without them.

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