Manipulatives are a must in the elementary classroom. Here are some articles about manipulative use, as well as some ideas and resources for creating some of your own.
- How to Make the Most of Math Manipulatives
- Hand Made Manipulative Instructions
- Make Your Own Fraction Kits and Transparencies
- A Math Toolbox in Every Home
Here are some sites that offer resources for copying or making manipulatives. Many also include recording sheets and other supporting materials to be used with hands-on activities.
SEN Teacher has a range of math reproducibles that can be used as manipulatives.
The Kentucky Center for Mathematics has a page of math tools. You’ll find both pdf and doc resources here, as well as links to other web sites with manipulatives and downloadables.
This interactive allows you to create the following:
- Nets – two-dimensional outlines of three-dimensional shapes, including regular polyhedra, prisms, pyramids, cylinders and cones
- Graph Paper – coordinate graphs, polar coordinates, logarithmic graph paper
- Number Lines – including positive and negative coordinates
- Number Grids – hundreds boards and the like
- Tessellations – tiling patterns involving triangles, quadrilaterals, and hexagons
- Shapes – pattern blocks, attribute blocks, and color tiles
- Spinners – up to 16 sectors, with adjustable sizes
Select the tab for the type of image you want, enter values for the parameters, and click Add to insert an image into the workspace. On the workspace, you can adjust the size of the image; to change other characteristics, you will need to adjust the values of the parameters on the dashboard. Once the image is created you can export it as a PDF activity sheet for your students or as a JPEG image for use in other applications or on the web.
Here are links to companies that supply manipulatives. Many of them also offer free resources and newsletters related to math instruction.