[Numeracy 204] Re: Using manipulatives

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megj82 at aol.com megj82 at aol.com
Sun Feb 21 20:09:16 EST 2010

I also have taught younger students and one of the things to keep in mind is that manipulatives are wonderful for concrete understanding, but the students need to be moved to the abstract level of understanding. Concrete -> semi concrete -> semi abstract -> abstract. If the students are not exposed to the other steps and make the connections, they do not perform as well on standardized tests (in my experience) because they do not have the manipulatives to assist them.


-----Original Message-----
From: Susan Fontenot <sfontenot1 at student.gsu.edu>
To: jasonsmullen at gmail.com <jasonsmullen at gmail.com>; The Math and NumeracyDiscussion List <numeracy at nifl.gov>
Sent: Sun, Feb 21, 2010 3:00 pm
Subject: [Numeracy 203] Re: Using manipulatives

I have not taught adult education but I have taught young learners struggling
ith math skills. I would suggest when using manipulatives not use something
hat has value in itself. It can be confusing to some people to use coins or
ards because they focus on the value of the manipulative rather than the skill
eing taught. It can also be more time consuming using manipulatives because
ome students count every single object until they learn to count in groups such
s 5's and 10's.
Hope this helps!
rom: numeracy-bounces at nifl.gov [numeracy-bounces at nifl.gov] on behalf of
asonsmullen at gmail.com [jasonsmullen at gmail.com]
ent: Sunday, February 21, 2010 1:04 PM
o: numeracy at nifl.gov
ubject: [Numeracy 202] Re: Using manipulatives
When I was teaching AE I used manipulatives to teach math all of the time.
uisinaire rods' base 10. Blocks, playing cards, toothpicks, sandwich bags,
eramic tiles.
ometimes it was very successful other times not so much but the successes far
utweigh the failures.
urrently as an instructional specialist I stress to all of my teachers the
alue of tying something concrete to math concepts and demonstrate to them a new
ay to use a manipulative to teach nearly every time we meet.
ason Mullen
BE- GED Instructional Specialist
hesapeake College Adult Education
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®
-----Original Message-----
rom: numeracy-request at nifl.gov
ate: Sun, 21 Feb 2010 12:00:06
o: <numeracy at nifl.gov>
ubject: Numeracy Digest, Vol 2, Issue 26
When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
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oday's Topics:
1. [Numeracy 200] Re: manipulatives (Jacqueline Kiefer)

Message: 1
ate: Fri, 19 Feb 2010 11:34:35 -0700
rom: Jacqueline Kiefer <jkiefer at dacc.nmsu.edu>
ubject: [Numeracy 200] Re: manipulatives
o: The Math and Numeracy Discussion List <numeracy at nifl.gov>
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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
onfusion. When I used algebra tiles to explain algebra, I BOMBED BIG TIME.
owever, when I used them to explain integers, there were light bulbs coming on
ll over the classroom. A deck of cards and a game of Integer Showdown is also
From: numeracy-bounces at nifl.gov [mailto:numeracy-bounces at nifl.gov] On Behalf Of
eslie Hunten
ent: Friday, February 19, 2010 7:39 AM
o: The Math and Numeracy Discussion List
ubject: [Numeracy 198] Re: manipulatives
Susan, please do share what you learn from Making Math Real!
On Thu, Feb 18, 2010 at 3:00 PM, Susan Jones <SUJones at parkland.edu<mailto:SUJones at parkland.edu>>
obody uses manipulatives here, which I think is a shame.
Hard to make the bridge from concrete to abstract without the concrete, though
e 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
id, but I'm 99 44/100% sure they don't either. We explain and wish and wonder
hy students don't connect math to the real world...
That said, there's not a lot of evidence (either formal research or anecdotal)
o say manipulatives help... I've seen them be one more layer of confusion, if
he connection between the concrete to the symbols isn't solidified. One reason
'm really looking forward to the Making Math Real overview is that I have a
eeling this does that (or at least makes a good effort;)) and would give me the
ools to try.

Susan Jones
cademic Development Specialist
enter for Academic Success
arkland College
hampaign, IL 61821
ujones at parkland.edu<mailto:sujones at parkland.edu>

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

1:52 AM >>>
haven't taught a math class for adult learners...yet:) But I am curious
- Are you using manipulatives?
- If you are using manipulatives are they specifically for math (cuisenaire
ods) or more generalizable (tokens/tiles)?
- Do you think the manipulatives are beneficial and why?

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