... > One possible problem of the misuse of manipulatives is because some > teachers believe that manipulative "represent" and "embody" mathematical > concepts. ... > To me the most important criterion for a good instructional material is > whether or not students can "think with" it.
I guess I'd rather have my kid doing manipulatives with a teacher who thinks they represent and embody concepts than have my kid doing algorithms with a teacher who thinks algorithms represent and embody concepts. At least my kid would have a prayer of a chance to think - on the sly.
To paraphrase the NRA: It's the *teacher*, stupid.
Cathy Brady Math Specialist/Education email@example.com Maryland Science Center Opinions are my own "Beyond Numbers" exhibit or something I overheard