# [Numeracy 208] Re: manipulatives

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Jacqueline Kiefer jkiefer at dacc.nmsu.edu
Mon Feb 22 18:23:23 EST 2010

I'll be happy to. Please note, I do not use the manipulatives until after I have explained the concept.

I use regular decks of playing cards which I purchase at the Dollar Tree,2 for \$1. Red cards are negative Black cards are positive. Play 5 students in a group. The fifth student is the dealer (this position rotates).
Begin by taking the jokers, aces, and face cards out of the deck. The dealer deals 2 cards, face down, to each student. For example 9 of hearts, which is negative nine, and 4 of clubs, which is positive. The student combines the numbers and the answer is -5. If the student is correct he keeps the cards. If not, the person to his right can attempt. If he is right he keeps the cards, etc. Deal out all the cards until they are gone. If the students are really catching on, after a couple of rounds, have the dealer deal out 3 cards and see how well they do. As the students become more proficient, increase the number of cards dealt to 5,6, etc.

To challenge them even more, put the aces and face cards back into the deck. Reds are still negative, Blacks are still positive, but face cards and Aces are worth ten points. Follow the same procedure above.

Now, the serious card playing begins! Throw in the Jokers and let them be wild. When the student gets a joker it can be any color or number he claims it to be.

We have so much fun with this. I hope I've explained it well enough so you and your students will enjoy it too.

I had one young lady that struggled until I dealt her a -9 [cid:image005.png at 01CAB3DB.5AD88730] and +3 [cid:image006.png at 01CAB3DB.5AD88730] . Underneath the cards I lined up
Algebra tiles as shown. --------- +++
Then I explained how the pairs of negatives and positives cancelled each other and all that was left was ------.
Furthermore, I showed her how the three spades cancelled out three of the hearts, leaving a total of six hearts.

She got it! And she became one of the Integer Showdown Champions.
Enjoy.
Jackie
If you want to call me, my number is 575-882-6812. I am in the office Tues, Thurs, and Fri. 8-4:30 MST. I am in class the rest of the time.

From: numeracy-bounces at nifl.gov [mailto:numeracy-bounces at nifl.gov] On Behalf Of Leslie Hunten
Sent: Sunday, February 21, 2010 9:02 AM
To: The Math and Numeracy Discussion List
Subject: [Numeracy 201] Re: manipulatives

Jacqueline, can you explain the game of Integer Showdown with cards?

Leslie

On Fri, Feb 19, 2010 at 11:34 AM, Jacqueline Kiefer <jkiefer at dacc.nmsu.edu<mailto:jkiefer at dacc.nmsu.edu>> wrote:
Susan, I too am interested in what you learn from Making Math Real.

I understand what you mean about manipulatives becoming one more layer of confusion. When I used algebra tiles to explain algebra, I BOMBED BIG TIME.
However, when I used them to explain integers, there were light bulbs coming on all over the classroom. A deck of cards and a game of Integer Showdown is also great.
Jackie

From: numeracy-bounces at nifl.gov<mailto:numeracy-bounces at nifl.gov> [mailto:numeracy-bounces at nifl.gov<mailto:numeracy-bounces at nifl.gov>] On Behalf Of Leslie Hunten
Sent: Friday, February 19, 2010 7:39 AM
To: The Math and Numeracy Discussion List
Subject: [Numeracy 198] Re: manipulatives

Susan, please do share what you learn from Making Math Real!

Leslie
On Thu, Feb 18, 2010 at 3:00 PM, Susan Jones <SUJones at parkland.edu<mailto:SUJones at parkland.edu>> wrote:
Nobody uses manipulatives here, which I think is a shame.

Hard to make the bridge from concrete to abstract without the concrete, though we sometimes can anyway.

We do use some visuals -- but not much of that, either.

I wish I could say that the folks working with the more basic than pre-algebra did, but I'm 99 44/100% sure they don't either. We explain and wish and wonder why students don't connect math to the real world...

That said, there's not a lot of evidence (either formal research or anecdotal) to say manipulatives help... I've seen them be one more layer of confusion, if the connection between the concrete to the symbols isn't solidified. One reason I'm really looking forward to the Making Math Real overview is that I have a feeling this does that (or at least makes a good effort;)) and would give me the tools to try.

Susan Jones
Parkland College
Champaign, IL 61821
217-353-2056
sujones at parkland.edu<mailto:sujones at parkland.edu>
Webmastress,
http://www.resourceroom.net
http://bicyclecu.blogspot.com

>>> Jaye Luke <flipfloprun at gmail.com<mailto:flipfloprun at gmail.com>> 2/18/2010 11:52 AM >>>

I haven't taught a math class for adult learners...yet:) But I am curious
1- Are you using manipulatives?
2- If you are using manipulatives are they specifically for math (cuisenaire
rods) or more generalizable (tokens/tiles)?
3- Do you think the manipulatives are beneficial and why?

Cheers
jaye
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