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Are there any math manipulatives...


jenniferp8
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A Judy clock, counters, some sort of Base 10 (either actual or MUS style), and a geoboard.

 

For jr. high I'd include MUS's fraction overlays and Montessori square root boards.

 

 

I have an entire case full of math manipulatives but these are what are brought out most often.  The rest of it mostly collects dust.

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I REALLY like MUS' blocks...more so than c-rods and other base ten blocks.  That said...I wish MUS had a block that represented thousands (and I know you can stack the hundreds together but...)

 

I use our teddy bear counters all of the time...even with my older son.  

 

A balance scale and measuring weights.  

 

Fraction blocks.

 

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I wish MUS had a block that represented thousands (and I know you can stack the hundreds together but...)

 

When my son went to a Montessori elementary school in first grade, they had thousand cubes, ten thousand rods, hundred thousand sheets, and a million cube.  The million cube was made of plywood on five sides with the sixth side open (that side was on the floor), and it was big enough for a 6yo boy to fit inside.  So my son did, and he broke it.  So it was apparently my job to fix the million cube.

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We use a lot of different manipulatives.  Here are several of the favorites which I have seen a lot of learning from, both during lessons and free play.  They are in no particular order.

 

 

1. Tanagram peices

2. Geared clock

3. Money -Plastic, correct size and pictures for coins, and I laminated the paper bills

4. Playing cards w/ big numbers

5. Geoboards

6. Abacus 

7. Colored tiles or blocks

8. Popsicle sticks

 

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clock

fraction tiles

counters 

dice

c-rods

number line

place value blocks (like a cube for the one, a stick for a ten, and a flat block for hundred...)

ruler

flashcards

Wrap-ups

toothpicks and rubberbands to make groups of tens/hundreds

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I love math manipulatives. I have way too many of them.

However, I don't think that any particular manipulative is essential for all kids.

Also, many manipulatives can be scrounged or made from common household items.

 

If you have a child that needs manipulatives, you might want to invest in some.

If your math program relies on manipulatives, you should get them.

However, if your child seems to pick up on the concepts without fancy manipulatives,

you might just be able to save some money.

 

That said, here are my favorites:

- Cuisnaire rods

- Base-10 flats and a one thousand cube

- Base-10 picture cards

- Al-Abacus

- the multiplication / division flashcards that I designed

- fraction bars (easy to make with a printer)

- geared clock (for students who have trouble reading a analog clock)

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I don't think any are essential. If money is tight:

  • Pennies work well for counting, adding, and subtracting small numbers. If you use them with a hand-drawn ten frame, you can encourage children to look for patterns rather than just count everything.
  • Craft (popsicle) sticks bundled with rubber bands work for place value, adding, and subtracting larger numbers.
  • Sugar cubes are an inexpensive way to introduce volume and 3-D geometry.
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I totally agree that if money is tight you can use anything to teach math. I remember teaching addition, subtraction, and how to divide by 2 using pieces of meatloaf once. Not only did DD learn some math, but she ate her dinner which was my real goal. :) That said, my kids love tangrams, pattern blocks, c-rods, unifix cubes, geoboards, and the balance scale we have. They beg to play with them and frequently don't realize how much they are learning. Math manipulative scan add up quickly, but it has been worth it for us because they have made math so much fun that our kids literally beg for a math lesson several times a week.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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My now first grader mostly used chocolate chips when he was K age. Now he doesn't need manipulatives (halfway through 2nd grade math).

 

My now 3rd grader used C-rods a lot when he was k-1st grade.

 

My now 6th grader never needed manipulatives. He was an abstract thinker from a young age.

 

I still have the Right Start manipulatives and never use any of them.

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Another vote for cuisinaire rods, but add in a handful of 100 flats and 1000 cubes!  

 

Place value cards from Right Start (other people make them too I think, free patterns online as well)

 

Base 10 Picture cards from RightStart

 

Those are what we use almost every day.

 

Less often, but very handy to have:

- fractoin manipulatives

- geometric solids

- clock

 

All of those could easily be handmade, but I like having sturdy plastic ones.

 

 

 

 

 

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p.s.  I was so anxious waiting for our shipment of Base 10 Picture Cards (link above) that I made homemade ones while I waited.  I still have the file if anyone wants to PM me, I'd be happy to send it along.  It's just a word document that you can print on card stock and then perhaps laminate.  I like the RS ones better than my homemade ones because they are made of a sort of thin plastic, but my homemade ones will easily do in a pinch!  

 

 

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Absolutely essential manipulates would be cube blocks and popsicle sticks for all of mine along with math tools like rulers, scales, analogue clock that they could adjust and measuring cups. I also really like other fun things like tubs of marbles or conkers and we also used dice, stencils with various shapes (good for art as well), blocks of different shapes, charts of numberlines and number facts, cards with numbers or shapes or symbols on them. I have a drawer of manipulates and rulers and stencils and a binder with numberlines, charts, and cards in binder pockets. The scale, clock, and cups are far rarer to use so end up in odd places and the blocks run off regularly for other play. 

 

We have an abacus that my older 2 used a lot and worked well for them, but my 3rd found it overwhelming. It seemed like she couldn't separate what she was working with from the rest of the frame. Once we put that aside and just worked with sticks or cubes (I would get out just enough that she and I both had enough for working out - when we worked on 5, she would have 5 sticks and I would have 5 sticks and there would be no more out) it started to click better for her. I also used a whiteboard for her a lot so we could draw out what we were doing or off the cuff maths games for her. 

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that you think are essential to elementary age kids? What would you not want to be without?

 

Cuisenaire rods

Play money

Toy clock

Abacus

Colored tiles

Fraction tiles or circles

Pattern blocks

Unifix cubes

Geo board

Dice

Number line

 

I loved math manipulatives. I just gave away our huge box of them several months ago, as my youngest son has long outgrown them. *sniff*

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I may have misunderstood the question.  Did you mean math manipulatives you buy or make or both?

 

We use our homemade place value things a lot, too.  Colored index cards cut to various lengths to show hundreds, tens, units, matching paper that goes from large (to use with the cards or blocks) to small graph (to organize numbers).  I made a strip board that saw a lot of use while learning addition and subtraction basics.  I'm sure at least half of what we use is homemade, and the rest is because I already had it.

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I think many math manipulatives can do as much harm as good.

 

Math is almost useless if it cannot be used and applied to real life. Using real things teaches the child how to use math.

 

Constant use of artificial objects sends a message about math I don't want to send to students.

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I think many math manipulatives can do as much harm as good.

 

Math is almost useless if it cannot be used and applied to real life. Using real things teaches the child how to use math.

 

Constant use of artificial objects sends a message about math I don't want to send to students.

 

:confused1:   Do you have any research on this?  I fail to see how coloured blocks would "harm" a child any more than counting pennies would.  Just what negative message are you thinking of. Perhaps I've not thought of it.

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Play money - both to learn money and for place value

 

We didn't use actual base 10 blocks much but did use Mathlinks cubes for years.

 

Pattern Blocks for fractions. We also had fraction circles that were useful. I made a set myself from craft foam.

 

Some kind of counter. Saxon refers to counting bears. We used frogs. We also used Lego minifigs, stuffed animals, matchbox cars etc.

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:confused1:   Do you have any research on this?  I fail to see how coloured blocks would "harm" a child any more than counting pennies would.  Just what negative message are you thinking of. Perhaps I've not thought of it.

 

I'm not sure what Hunter had in mind, but there are a couple of dangers in using manipulatives:

 

(1) That the child would rely on counting and not develop other strategies that lead to deeper understanding (such as rearranging numbers into "friendlier" options, like mentally changing 9+7 into 10+6).

 

(2) That the adult would rely on the manipulatives to do the teaching, as though playing with them were magic. Whenever the student hits a mental glitch, the adult thinks it will be solved by pulling out manipulatives.

 

Much more important than the manipulative, diagram, or other tool you use with your child is the conversation you have around it. Talk about what the child understands, thinks, notices, wonders, and what he or she can figure out.

 

Discussion helps us make sense of math concepts. But don't fall into the trap of talking at the child, explaining things, trying to pour knowledge from your own head into the little one. Instead, talk with your kids. When the child does most of the talking, that means he or she is thinking and consolidating knowledge.

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I'm not sure what Hunter had in mind, but there are a couple of dangers in using manipulatives:

 

(1) That the child would rely on counting and not develop other strategies that lead to deeper understanding (such as rearranging numbers into "friendlier" options, like mentally changing 9+7 into 10+6).

 

(2) That the adult would rely on the manipulatives to do the teaching, as though playing with them were magic. Whenever the student hits a mental glitch, the adult thinks it will be solved by pulling out manipulatives.

 

Much more important than the manipulative, diagram, or other tool you use with your child is the conversation you have around it. Talk about what the child understands, thinks, notices, wonders, and what he or she can figure out.

 

Discussion helps us make sense of math concepts. But don't fall into the trap of talking at the child, explaining things, trying to pour knowledge from your own head into the little one. Instead, talk with your kids. When the child does most of the talking, that means he or she is thinking and consolidating knowledge.

 

I appreciate your post and links, though I'm still concerned about a blanket statement about the negative effects of math manipulatives without any sort of data to support the claim. Math manipulative are widely used in special education classrooms, private schools and highly regarded educaiton programs. However, if there are legitimate, research-based negative effects, it would be helpful to learn about them. 

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Wintermom, I believe the OP was just asking for my anecdotal experiences.

 

All I have to type and research with is my phone. Now is just not the time for me to debate using only research studies. I'm sorry. Maybe others are interested in engaging in that type of discussion; I'm not.

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Wintermom, I believe the OP was just asking for my anecdotal experiences.

 

All I have to type and research with is my phone. Now is just not the time for me to debate using only research studies. I'm sorry. Maybe others are interested in engaging in that type of discussion; I'm not.

 

No worries. You own opinion is fine, it just did not come across that way (to me). I have my own opinion, experiences and research (not googled over the internet) to fall back on. 

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Wintermom, I only wrote 3 sentences; 2 of them were "I" statements. I think you are reacting to ME, not what I wrote.

 

People have confronted me before with my "overconfidence" in my abilities, and have asked me if I know what a mess I am. Yup, I do know how scarred I am, and how rough around the edges. I'm so aware of that. I know my strenghts and I know my weaknesses, and I usually know who is and is not benefitted by my advice. I don't respond to every thread here.

 

I am confronted more often for keeping my mouth shut, than for saying too much. I've been told that my remaining quiet is not humbleness, but stinginess and it's the worse kind of stinginess there is to not share knowledge.

 

And I've been told that I'm right more than those around me are, especially when things are their worst, or something new and unexpected is happening. I know how to triage. I know how to adapt. I can see through rhetoric and statistics better than average.

 

And most of the people who have taken the time to confront me with my "overconfidence" have later come to me for advice, when their life was taking a nose dive.

 

Am I always right? No! And I still beat myself up for bad advice I gave even decades ago. I think my mom still blames me for my two year old brother almost drowning when I was 3. I REFUSE to accept responsibility for that! She asked me what I thought. I told her I didn't know. Twice! She kept pressing. I gave her my opinion. It was wrong. Almost fatally.

 

Many homeschool moms are in over their heads. My greatest strength is being in over my head. I've been there since I was 4, and even before. My sister was born when I was 4 and that is when my childhood ended and I became a mom. I was a crappy mom. I overfed her, and didn't hold her head up, and God knows what else. But I stood in the gap, kept her alive, and loved her.

 

And for the next 44 years, I've been plugging along, doing my best, doing it "wrong" but doing it better than not doing it at all.

 

Studies are developed by humans and humans are stupid and selfish. Some studies are useful; some are not.

 

I stand by my opinion that artificial manipulatives are not essential for the average homeschool family. I could list some special situations where they might be helpful, but I didn't see the OP falling into those special categories and I responded to my audience.

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