Q&A #1636

Implementation of math manipulatives in grades k-6

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From: Gail (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Jun 07, 1999 at 20:58:06
Subject: Re: Implementation of math manipulatives in grades k-6

From my own experience the teachers who are hesitant to use manipulatives are the ones who do not see the connections between the concrete activities and the abstract algorithms. It could be that they have always been able to do arithmetic, and do not see the need to use what they consider to be "crutches", or it could be that they are uncomfortable with many of the math topics, and cannot risk opening their classroom up to the sort of activity that might give the students opportunities to stray from the bare bones algorithm. In either case, the students are the ones losing out, in my opinion. Mathematics is so much more easily explained and examined through the use of concrete materials. Not only do many of us learn better that way, the connections between math topics are clearer, so it is easier to make generalizations. -Gail, for the Teacher2Teacher service

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