[Numeracy 196] Re: manipulatives

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Susan Jones SUJones at parkland.edu
Thu Feb 18 17:00:52 EST 2010

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
Academic Development Specialist
Center for Academic Success
Parkland College
Champaign, IL 61821
sujones at parkland.edu

>>> Jaye Luke <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?