INTRODUCE MANIPULATIVESTalk with kids about why we use manipulatives: They help us to get our heads around-and hands on-math concepts. These discussions are essential for new users and are useful refreshers.
SET GROUND RULESExplain that manipulatives are tools, not toys. We use them to help us learn new things and solve problems.
ALLOW TIME FOR EXPLORATION
Encourage students to explore the materials and make their own discoveries. When students can satisfy their curiosity, they are less likely to become distracted from assigned tasks.
STAY ORGANIZEDPost a chart in your classroom listing the names of the manipulative materials. Teach children how to use them and put them back.
LET PARENTS KNOWSend home a letter that lets parents who may be unfamiliar with manipulatives know why their children are using them. Include manipulative math activities for home.