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Q&A #260

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Manipulatives for basic math

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From: Coleen <il_sprout@yahoo.com>
To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2006073100:05:58
Subject: Manipulatives for Basic Math

OK, I looked up Algeblocks by ETA, and the kits look a little pricey. 
I have found many pages on making your own manipulatives, but I want
to avoid wasting time making them if they will not be REALLY useful. 
What are the favorites for working with integers, fractions, decimals,
percents, beginning algebra equations, and expressions?  

In college I worked with so many - cuisanaire rods, base 10 blocks,
colored tiles, pattern blocks, tangrams, spinners, dice, dominoes,
decimal squares, pentominoes, tessallation pieces, fraction squares,
fraction circles, and more that I can't remember I'm sure, lol!  I'm
overwhelmed right now and need to know where to start.

The school I'm starting at in 2 weeks (yikes) has NO manipuatives, and
I have to admit the tone was skeptical when I brought them up.  I'm
looking into grants, but until then, I need to show my peers and
employer how beneficial manipulatives can be.

Please help me choose something inexpensive (y'all know first year
teachers don't make $$) and most beneficial.  Thanks, Coleen

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