Manipulatives In Math Can Lead To Better Understanding

in Help with Math

The most common aids which come to our minds to teach math to our children are pie charts, flash cards, memorization and similar things but we often miss something and that is the use of manipulatives and different games. These manipulatives are tangible and children can actually see them, feel them and pick them up with their hands. Available in different colors, sizes and shapes, these math manipulatives are extremely easy to use and they can give a three dimensional view to the children of what they are learning. These can be tiles, rods, cards or cubes. They can have numbers on them or they may not have numbers. At the start up stage, you need to consider using the ones which are without any numbers. Cuisenaire rods are such examples of manipulatives without numbers. These are actually rectangular rods which come in different colors and sizes.

These Cuisenaire rods are helpful in understanding fractions and can also be used to teach basic operations like addition, multiplication, subtraction and division. Once the children get habituated to these rods, they can switch to the manipulatives with numbers and those which have different shapes as well as different symbols. They are more or less like flash cards. If you are looking forward to teaching your children about Geometry, you need to get manipulatives, which are in geometrical shapes. They can be used to introduce your child to shapes like cubes, spheres, cones, cylinders and pyramids. Some of them come as one single piece while others come as parts which can be used to demonstrate how these parts are added or subtracted as well. Geometric manipulatives come with activity books for children for better understanding of the geometrical shapes.

Using manipulatives increases learning.

There are dedicated manipulatives which are made of plastic or foams to explain how fractions work. These manipulatives can function as games for the children which can help them to get a clear and better understanding of math. There are other games as well, which can enhance the math learning capacity of the children. Sum Swamp, Totally Tut are some of the popular games which can be used to enhance the basic addition, multiplication, subtraction and division concepts of the students. There are several board games which can be used by the children to actually develop strategies and logic and also help them in recognizing patterns. Tic Tac Twice is a classic example of a board game which is capable of enhancing the algebraic skills for the children. For strategy development, children can use the game known as Geoshapes.

Overall, you need to understand that learning math is essential and there are a number of methods that can be used to assist the children to get a true and clear picture of the subject. Manipulatives and games are the best that you can provide to your children because you will be able to develop a solid foundation with proper logic and reasoning but in a tangible way which provides a long lasting impression. So, you need to teach math with fun and not with fear!

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