Math Manipulatives at Work

By Kristin Sanderson

At Miquon, one of the major components of our math program is the idea that children more readily develop an understanding of concepts by seeing (and working with!) visual representations of the computation process. Today in Rachel and Rich’s class, children spent their half group time working with multiplication and division to solve math problems. Using plastic chips to represent bicycle, tricycle, and go cart wheels in increasingly complex problems, students were able to determine how many vehicles were in a bike shop. The children worked together in pairs to work toward solutions and, better still, explain how they arrived at their answers. When asked what they thought of the math activity, several answered simultaneously, “It was easy. It was difficult. It was fun.”


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