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Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Using Manipulatives

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From: Jane Stock

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2000051817:34:05
Subject: Re: Using manipulatives to teach multiplication

Here's what I've found successful: Use tiles to show an array. Helpful vocabulary: columns, rows Using either plastic or ceramic tiles, model how you would make equal rows using 4 tiles, then 6 tiles, then 8. As you develop the concept of an array with students, ask them why & how questions: Can you make an array from 5 tiles? 7 tiles? 9 tiles? Show me how or why it does or does not work. (1 x 5 works, as does 1 x 7, etc.) Try to have students develop a definition of an array after trying different totals. Model the writing process for a definition and have them write in their math journals what they did to make an array (emphasizing the process). To begin to bridge to the algorithm for the next lesson: Model using paper under the tiles and drawing the squares that would show an array for a number. (You can trace around the tiles on an overhead projector to model it). The next phase is to have the students draw their arrays on graph paper (preferably 1-inch square), color, and cut them out, creating a large poster that shows all of the ways to "make" 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc.

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