What is a Mathematics Manipulative?

A mathematical manipulative is any physical object or material that can be used in a hands-on manner to assist the students in developing mathematical understanding and to solve problems. Learning is achieved through linking the manipulative to the mathematics being taught and highlighting the appropriate language. Advances in technology have meant that virtual manipulatives are now available, however, educationalists believe children require physical, tactile experiences as well as virtual experiences. 

The manipulatives we use to help us teach.

For a selection of videos showing how each of the manipulatives can be used please click on the links. Thank you to Dr Paul Swan for explaining.

edx manips

Base 10 Blocks                              100 Square                           Link Cubes

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Number Tiles                       Ten Frames                  Number cards          Number Trains

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Number Boards          Number Beads                Assorted Dice              Flip Charts