Mathematical Exploration is:
Success, not failure
Fun, not fear
Excitement, not boredom
Activity, not passivity
Playfulness, not regimentation
Extensions, not limits
Pattern seeking, not just recognition
Co-operation, not just competition
Surprises, not just routines
Questioning, not just answering
Understanding, not just memorizing
Talking, not just listening
How can the above be established in your classroom? WITH MANIPULATIVES!!!
I will be posting a photostory of “The New Atmosphere In My Grade 5 Classroom” shortly showing some of the changes that have occurred in my class since I have introduced a more hands-on approach to mathematics.
As I was surfing the net, exploring viewpoints on manipulative use within the elementary classroom, I came upon Mrs. Aubertin’s Classroom Blog and the above poem. I found this site to contain some very good references in respect to the use of manipulatives within the classroom. Check it out when you have a moment:
Marilyn Burns stresses the need to help students develop the ability and confidence to find their way around the strands of math while making pertinent connections to past knowledge. She stresses five key reasons for the inclusion of manipulative materials in a classroom.
Manipulatives help make abstract ideas concrete. There is no substitute for first-hand experience.
Manipulatives lift math off textbook pages. Manipulatives help students construct an understanding of ideas.
Manipulatives build students’ confidence by giving them a way to test and confirm their reasoning.
Manipulatives are useful tools for problem solving. Building prototypes helps solve problems.
Manipulatives make learning math interesting and enjoyable.
Manipulatives must be regularly integrated into daily exercises. Discussing why it is important to use manipulatives with your students will help them realize the validity of the material and make them accountable for how they treat the manipulatives. Allowing students to also use the manipulatives during free time for non-descript exploration will also motivate students to grow mathematically. Students tend to explore mathematical relationships during free play without even realizing it.
How to Make the Most of Math Maniuplatives. Marilyn Burns http://teacher.scholastic.com/lessonrepro/lessonplans/instructor/burns.htm
Virtual Manipulatives in the Elementary Classroom. Lucinda Wright http://mrsaubertin.21classes.com/pub/MrsAubertin/Wright_VirtualManipulativesHandout1.pdf
Other sites of interest I came across are:
Journal of Instructional Pedagogy: http://www.aabri.com/manuscripts/10451.pdf
The Math Forum: http://mathforum.org/t2t/faq/faq.manipulatives.html
How to Use Math Manipulatives in the Classroom http://www.ehow.com/how_5031920_use-math-manipulatives-classroom.html
Manipulatives In Middle Grades Mathematics http://www.nmsa.org/Research/ResearchSummaries/Mathematics/tabid/1832/Default.aspx