Q&A #1643

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Using Manipulatives

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From: Jane Stock <jane_stock@hotmail.com>
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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