Disadvantages Of Math Manipulative

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Teaching math can be a daunting task, especially in the lower grades. Teaching mathematical concepts through lecture and paper and pencil work isn’t enough to achieve deep understanding, math reasoning or problem solving skills. Math manipulatives are “hands on” or virtual materials designed to engage students in active investigation to gain higher levels of understanding. Manipulatives not only allow students to explore concepts, but also allow teachers to see what students are thinking. “The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Principles and Standards for School Mathematics emphasizes the importance of using manipulatives and visual representations, as well as mathematical modeling, in each of its standards at all grade levels” …show more content…
Counters are tokens which represent units or numbers, so they can be anything. Teachers can cheaply acquire or make a bulk amount of counters to use. Some examples of what teachers often use for this manipulative are: dried beans, popcorn kernels, jelly beans, colored paper squares, marshmallows or Fruit Loops style cereal. Another advantage of this manipulative is their ease of use. Students can use counters intuitively, it does not take much instruction time explaining how to use them. A teacher can maximize guided and independent practice with this manipulative and clearly see what the students are …show more content…
The first disadvantage is that pattern blocks can be costly. Since the sides on the shapes need to be congruent, and fit together correctly, they are hard to self-create. The purchased kits have many pieces, and it is inevitable that there will be loss or damage. The benefits of this manipulative may not be worth the potential financial investment. Another disadvantage is that the concepts being explored with pattern blocks may not easily translate into understanding. Pattern blocks can be fun and creative, and have uses at all grade levels; however they are often used for more complex concepts such as pattern relationships, spatial relationships, and geometric principles. The concrete manipulative is being used to represent much more abstract concepts and the connections may take more

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