Top 10 Mathematics Manipulative and Tools

Top 10 Mathematic Manipulative and Tools

Top 10 Mathematic Manipulative and Tools

Not everyone can think in abstract world. Many people need something on their hands to get them understand better on the objects. Mathematics has been my favourite subject when I was at school, but it is the most hated subject one of my sons has. Therefore, since he started learning it, we always keep some mathematic manipulative. We just use these manipulative whenever we need . We rarely have special plan using the manipulative for honest. They are just our tools, which stand by most of the time

In mathematics, a manipulative is an object which is designed so that a learner can perceive some mathematical concept by manipulating it, hence its name. Wikipedia
  1. Counters

    As its name, this manipulative is used by learners to understand the concept of counting by number. Each piece of counter represent a number of something. We use many different kinds of things as counters. It can be ice cream sticks, green bean, lego cubes, etc to do the function of counters. Counters can be used to learn the concept of place values, statistics, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Abacus is also can be used.
  2. Tangram

    Tangram is used to design shape that we want using pieces of shapes cut from larger squares. We don't need to buy tangram if you feel what we have is sturdy and if we have enough time to do so. You can make tangram by yourself. Here is an instruction about how to make tangram by yourselves. Visit how to make tangram.
  3. Clock - Stop Watch - Timer

    They are all related to the concept of time and the value of the time. Clock is for introduce the concept of reading time and its operation. Stop watch is used to measure the time spent in certain action. On the other hand, timer is used to limit the time of certain terms.
  4. Sets of rulers and compass

    It is a must for learners to be able to use the bar ruler, triangle ruler, and protractor at the end of year 6. They should get themselves familiar with compass later on. My children don't use those rulers and tool well, but at least that the know how and when to use them in a very basic way.
  5. Measuring tape or roll

    They are used in the length measurement chapter of the mathematic lessons so that learners know the concept and estimation of certain length units.
  6. Measuring glasses or cups
    It is used to explain the concept of volume which means taking up the space of three dimensional concept. We don't use special glasses all of the time. Knowing the volume of our drinking glass on the dining table will be useful to know how many glasses we need to finish 1 box of milk. That is just a simple example of measuring glass.
  7. Dice
    Dice is used for some topics in mathematics, like probability and number operation drilling. We use dice for various board games, not only for mathematics.
  8. Scales

    There are some kinds of scales that can be used in the mathematic lessons. The balancing scales are used to get the algebra basic explanation easier. The kitchen scale is used for hands on kitchen cooking. Learners can see and feel how much is a kilogram, a hectogram, a gram, etc.
  9. Origami paper
    Origami paper is used not only for following the logical instruction, but also for doing hands on symmetrical learning. My children enjoy this a lot. This beautiful and colorful paper is also used for learning pattern.
  10. 3D models

    We made our 3D models by ourselves from card stock to get them known the shape well. Once kids construct them out of straws with the help of clay for the vertices. By using the 3D models, learners could have real shapes to see and touch which let them to further stage of imagination.

Besides those mathematic manipulative, some tools are quite essential in doing Maths:

  1. Square lined pages or notebooks are very useful in
    • getting learners writing numbers based on the place value
    • drawing the shapes
    • drawing the cartesian graphs and other graphs
    • etc
  2. Flash cards are very useful not only for memorizing things but it is also great for fluency in numbers, shapes/geometry, and formula.
  3. Poster will also be great for training the memory through some mathematical "memorization" or fluency.
  4. Mini Offices will give kids more proud to show off their knowledge and work.
  5. Songs would be helpful for memorized points like measurement units, geometrical shapes, etc.

It is a hard work to get the math haters love maths as I feel by myself. We might not be able to change them, but at least they know how important is maths in our daily life. It is not a force, but using the manipulative and tools the chance for math haters to get familiar with maths is bigger. Good luck.


This post is linked in the Top Ten Tuesday:

3 thoughts on “Top 10 Mathematics Manipulative and Tools

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