Q&A #6575

Homemade Math Manipulatives

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From: Jeanne (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Jul 04, 2001 at 19:17:53
Subject: Re: Homemade Math Manipulatives

Hi Lisa,

What a practical assignment!!

Old issues of the Teaching Children Mathematics journal from the National
Council of Teacher of Mathematics would be a good place for you to look for
ideas of using manipulatives as wellas making manipulatives for your future

I did a search of NCTM publications and found some literature that might be
of interest to you. Your library might have them.

Teacher-Made Aids for Elementary School Mathematics, vol. 2: Readings from
the Arithmetic Teacher, Mar 1986, 57

Teaching Mathematics with Manipulatives: A Resource of Activities for the K-
12 Teacher, May 1994, 566

Teaching Mathematics with Technology: Teacher-Made Overhead Manipulatives,
Mar 1990, 44-46

Just in case you can't find these I thought I'd give you some ideas, too.

Base 10 blocks. I've made sets out of old file folders, tagboard, and a
product I believe is called "fun foam." (You can purchase them in many
colors and buy them by the sheet.)  A good paper cutter really helps.  If
you don't have a good paper cutter, try using an exacto knife and metal

Spinners.  Imagine four circles drawn on a sheet of 8 1/2 by 11 paper. Each
circle is divided into different combination of sectors (For example:
Circle 1:  1 half and 2 quarters, Circle 2 has 4 quarters, Circle 3 has 1
half, 1 third and 1 sixth,...). Color them to make them bright and laminate
them. The spinner part is a bobbie pin and a sharpened pencil. Loop the bobbie
pin around a center of a spinner base, place your pencil point on the center
point. Flick the bobbie pin with your finger and you have a spinner.

Number tiles. I've used 1" ceramic tiles I had left over from remodeling my
bathroom and turned them into number tiles with a permanent marker. They work
great but they're noisy. I've also drawn squares on tagboard, file old file
folders and such; written numbers on them; laminated them and then cut them
apart.  (I do have a good paper cutter.)

Hope this helps.

 -Jeanne, for the T2T service

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