# [Numeracy 200] Re: manipulatives

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Jacqueline Kiefer jkiefer at dacc.nmsu.edu
Fri Feb 19 13:34:35 EST 2010

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] 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
Center for Academic Success
Parkland College
Champaign, IL 61821
217-353-2056
sujones at parkland.edu<mailto:sujones at parkland.edu>
Webmastress,
http://www.resourceroom.net
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>>> 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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