### Inexpensive Math Manipulatives

• Author Justin Holzmann
• Published July 10, 2012
• Word count 624

There are many math manipulatives that students may use to enhance their mathematical and analytical skills. They work in a more effective manner when they are used hand-in-hand with other math resource materials. What are these manipulatives and how do they help students learn math?

Basically, math manipulatives are designed for math learning and help make math for kids fun. The use of manipulatives offers a way for students to gain knowledge of concepts in a developmentally suitable, applied, and experiencing manner. Also known as mathematical manipulatives, these materials are applied to early math learning, in the early steps of teaching mathematical thoughts, that of concrete representation. These manipulatives may be made by the teacher. However, they may also be purchased if the teacher finds making them a bit complicated and stressful. There are a lot of inexpensive manipulatives available to purchase for teachers, parents or tutors. When students are exposed to manipulatives and begin using them while learning math, they help to make unfamiliar, abstract concepts easier to comprehend by providing physical models for students to work with. Examples of math manipulatives include pattern blocks, Shape Math, interlocking cubes, tiles, and number lines.

Pattern blocks consist of a variety of wooden figures (trapezoids, triangles, circles, squares, hexagons, and others) that are sized in such a way that students will be able to see associations among shapes. Playing with pattern blocks aid students in enhancing a spatial understanding of how shapes are formed and deformed, a vital understanding in early geometry. Pattern blocks also provide a way for students to understand fractions much better. Because the shapes are sized to fit each other, they offer actual familiarities with halves, thirds, and fourths.

Shape Math, on the other hand, is a method for learning early mental and written mathematical problems. It uses a succession of figures that fit in logical outlines, and such figures make a geometric depiction of the 10-base number system. It permits students to do mental exercises into the hundreds, use division without the use of certain tables, and fully understand concepts that were purely abstract before.

Interlocking cubes are usually one-inch cubes that attach with each other from all sides. There is also an instrument called "unfix cubes" that are of the same dimensions, but only connect from the top to the bottom. These cubes also come in a variety of colors. Like the pattern blocks, interlocking cubes are also usable as teaching patterns. Students use such cubes to make patterns. They present an actual experience for learners to recognize, expand, and generate outlines, just like block patterns. The only difference between the interlocking cubes and the block patterns is that interlocking cubes may be physically deconstructed by the unit.

Tiles are inexpensive manipulatives that are one inch-by-one inch colored squares. They may be utilized the same manner as interlocking cubes. The only difference is that tiles may not be locked together. They remain as individual pieces, which may be idyllic for most teaching instances.

Number lines are another math manipulative, but they aren’t as popular as the ones mentioned above. Number lines can be used to better understand the concepts of addition and subtraction among integers. They are a helpful tool in visualizing addition and subtraction, especially when used while introducing the concept of negative numerals.

Math manipulatives are a unique and easy way of teaching and understanding math problems. Manipulatives are also a great tool to add to math homeschool curriculum. They are very helpful teaching tools for educators because they reinforce math principles and add another dimension of learning. They are very effective for students, especially in the early stages of learning. With these types of materials, math may be learned in a creative and fun manner.

Justin Holzmann has a unique style and ability to teach math by using math manipulatives to create fun learning for kids. Justin has found that math videos can be made fun and easy by using manipulatives to learn math concepts from addition, subtraction, place value and estimating, to ordinal numbers, mass, area, fractions, money and more.

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