Manipulatives are referred to those tangible objects that help in classification, multiplication and calculation of mathematical tasks. Equations, fractions and patterns make the most of mathematics so they are also solved by manipulatives. The common manipulatives that are used in the classrooms are attribute blocks, geometric shapes, unifix cubes, fraction bars and counting cubes. The everyday items can also be taken as manipulatives such as buttons, marbles, bingo chips, beans, dice so on and so forth. Not only these, there are virtual manipulatives as well and they can found in countless varieties like pictures, puzzles and games. The process includes engaging colors and sounds to create game out of math. So the concept of manipulatives allows students to keep their interests alive.
Benefits of manipulatives
The proponents of using manipulatives in the classrooms believe that they allow students to actively and effectively construct their own understanding of math. The following points can tell more about use of manipulatives:
- With the help of manipulatives, students are able to explore, develop and discuss as to how the ideas and concepts of math are applied.
- They make math concepts more interesting and engaging.
- Computers are also manupulatives that are widely in the classrooms now.
- There are countless manipulatives in the form of online resources and are easily incorporated in the classrooms
- They encourage active learning
- They encourage group participation in different learning activities
- They help in counting, sorting and organizing
- Integer bars, grid papers, 3D geometrical shapes are aiding to the younger students to a great extent.
Manipulatives certainly have numerous advantages for the students to learn and know things from a different perspective. However, some educational experts and our assignment help UK experts also believe that manipulatives may prevent them from learning abstract learning skills.