What are Educational Manipulatives?

If you’re an educator, you know how important having a go-to manufacturer of educational manipulatives can be. Manipulatives give teachers solid ways to give meaning to ideas that would be considered abstract. In teaching students new concepts through using the manipulatives, they can relate those new concepts to the things they’ve learned in the past. Read on to find out more about educational manipulatives and how they bring value to the education process.

What are Common Examples of Manipulatives in Education?

While manipulatives can be used in many educational settings, one of the most common uses for them is when teaching mathematics. Students can have a hard time relating to abstract mathematical equations and formulas, so giving them a concrete way to look at it allows them to understand the use case for it and how it’s achieved. The main idea for using manipulatives in mathematics is to help students see mathematical relationships. Having a visual model that they can touch with their hands can increase overall understanding. Without it, students are easily lost in the array of different symbols and meanings found in the language of math.

Here are some of the most common examples of math manipulatives:

Attribute Blocks

Attribute blocks use the idea of taking different shapes (hexagon, square, circle, rectangle and triangle) with different colors to help teach math concepts. Some of the most common things taught with blocks of this nature is sorting, identifying attributes, and patterns.

Algebra Tiles

Who doesn’t have some trouble making the jump to learning algebra? Algebra tiles can help students to learn how to subtract and add polynomials and aid in solving equations. Tiles have representations such as x2, x and more.

Base Blocks

With base blocks, you can teach how to multiply in powers of ten. These are also great for teaching students measurements such as volume and area.