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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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