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## Inexpensive Math Manipulatives

There are many mathematical manipulations that students can use to improve their mathematical and analytical skills. They work most effectively when used in conjunction with other math resources. What are these manipulatives and how do they help students learn math?

Basically, math manipulatives are designed for math learning and help make math fun for kids. The use of manipulatives provides students with a means to gain knowledge of concepts in a developmentally appropriate, applied, and experiential manner. Also known as math manipulatives, these materials are applied to early math learning, in the early stages of teaching mathematical thinking, that of concrete representation. These manipulations can be carried out by the teacher. However, they can also be purchased if the teacher finds them a bit complicated and stressful. There are many inexpensive manipulatives available for purchase for teachers, parents, or guardians. When students are exposed to and begin to use manipulatives while learning math, they help facilitate understanding of unfamiliar abstract concepts by providing physical models that students can work with. Examples of math manipulations include Pattern Blocks, Shape Math, Nesting Cubes, Tiles, and Number Lines.

**pattern blocks** consist of a variety of wooden figures (trapezoids, triangles, circles, squares, hexagons and others) whose size allows students to see the associations between the shapes. Playing with pattern blocks helps students improve their spatial understanding of how shapes are formed and deformed, an essential understanding of early geometry. Pattern blocks also help students better understand fractions. Because the shapes are sized to fit one another, they provide real familiarity with halves, thirds, and quarters.

**Shape math**, on the other hand, is a method of early learning mental and written math problems. It uses a succession of numbers that fit into logical outlines, and these numbers make a geometric representation of the base 10 number system. It allows students to do hundreds of mental exercises, use division without using certain paintings and to fully understand concepts that were purely abstract before.

**nested cubes** are usually one-inch cubes that attach to each other on all sides. There is also an instrument called “unfixed cubes” which have the same dimensions, but only connect from top to bottom. These cubes also come in a variety of colors. Like block models, nested cubes can also be used as teaching models. Students use these cubes to create patterns. They present a real-life experience allowing learners to recognize, develop and generate outlines, just like block patterns. The only difference between nested cubes and block models is that nested cubes can be physically deconstructed by unity.

**Floor tile** are inexpensive manipulatives that are colored one-inch-by-one-inch squares. They can be used in the same way as nested cubes. The only difference is that tiles cannot be locked together. They remain individual pieces, which can be idyllic for most teaching cases.

**Number lines** are another mathematical manipulation, but they are not as popular as the ones mentioned above. Number lines can be used to better understand the concepts of addition and subtraction among whole numbers. They are a useful tool for visualizing addition and subtraction, especially when used when introducing the concept of negative numbers.

Math Manipulatives are a unique and easy way to teach and understand math problems. Manipulations are also a great tool to add to the math curriculum at home. They are very useful teaching tools for educators as they reinforce mathematical principles and add another dimension to learning. They are very effective for students, especially in the early stages of learning. With these types of materials, math can be learned in creative and fun ways.

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