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MathManipulativesReview

JudyClocks
:AclasssetofJudyClocksisveryusefulintheelementaryclassroom.Having
taughtanentireunitontimeinagrade4classroom,thistoolisveryhelpfultohave.The
studentsareabletoeachhavetheirownsmallclockwheretheycanmanipulateandmove
thehandstodifferenttimes.Thereisalsoateacherclockinthesetwhichislargerand
beneficialtohavewheninstructingyourclass.Thestudentscanfollowalongwithwhatthe
teacherisdoingwiththeirownclocksandgrasptheconceptoftimemoreefficientlywhenitis
handsonandrightinfrontofthem.

Base10Blocks
:Base10Blocksareamanipulativethatcanbeusedintheelementary
classroom.Theseblocksareagreattooltousetohelpstudentsunderstandtheconceptof
placevalue.Base10Blockscanalsobeusedwhenstudentsarelearningtoadd,subtract,as
wellasregrouping.Theblocksalsoworkasagoodtoolforstudentswhoarestrugglingwith
theconceptsofadditionandsubtractionasawaytoquantifywhatthenumbers,whichhelps
studentsunderstandthepurposeofwhattheyaredoing.

Geoboards
:Geoboardsareamanipulativetouseintheelementaryclassroomwhen
studyinggeometry.Theboardsareausefultoolforstudentswhentheyarelearningaboutthe
attributesofshapesliketrianglesandpolygons.Geoboardscanalsobeusedforstudying
angles,symmetryandperimeter,makingthemusefulformostelementarygrades.Theyare
smallandeasyforstudentstousewhilebeinginstructedbytheirteacher.Theygivestudents
anopportunitytobuildandconstructtheirownshapes,byhavingstudentsbuildand
manipulatetheirownshapes,learningthedifferentattributeswillberealisticandeasierto
grasp.Geoboardsallowstudentstodevelopconceptualunderstandingofthevariousareasof
geometryforallelementarylevels.

FractionStrips
:FractionStripsareamanipulativetouseinanelementaryclassroom,they
areusedwhenstudentsarelearningtheconceptoffractionsforbeginners.Itisatoolthatcan
besharedamongseveralstudentsandwouldbeagreattooltouseinanintroductorytothe
subject.Theyarebrightandcolourfulandyoungstudentswouldenjoybeingabletousethem
duringalesson.Thesemanipulativeswouldworkreallywellforstudentswhoarevisualor
kinestheticlearnersbecausetheycanhavetheactualfractioninfrontofthemandallows
themtomanipulatepartsofthesamewhole.


Centicubes:
Centicubesareamanipulativethatareveryversatilefortheelementary
classroom.Thecubescanbeusedasacountingtool,sortingtool(sincetheycomeina
varietyofcolours),andasameasurementtool.Studentscanusethecubeswhentheyare
learningtocreateandbuildpatterns,theycanbeeasilysnappedtogetherandtakenapart
again.Theycanalsobeusedinlowerlevelelementaryasanonstandardtoolfor
measurement.Sincetheblocksarealluniforminsize,itisagreattoolforstudentstouse
whenbeginningtolearnhowtomeasurewithoutgettingtoocomplex.


TechnologyToolsforMathematics

1. BruceCanCount:ThisisaniBookthatIdevelopedwithimagesfromKingsLanding,
NewBrunswick.ThebookisgearedtowardsK1studentswhoarelearningtoidentify
numbers,andvariousshapes.Thebookdepictsastuffedmoosewhotravelsaround
KingsLandingcountinganimalsandobjectsandanalyzingtheeverydayshapeshe
sees.Thebookcanbeplayedfortheclassonthesmartboardandbereadtogether,
orcanbedownloadedasaPDFfileandputontoaniPadforstudentstoreadontheir
own.


2.FruitShoot:Fruitshootisafunandeasywebsitetouseforelementarystudents.This
websiteisagamethatcanbealotoffunforstudentstohelpincreasetheircapacityfor
mentalmathonavarietyofdifferentlevels.Thegamecanbeplayedindividuallyona
computeroriPad,orplayedonthesmartboardformathcenterswhenstudentsareall
groupeddependingontheirlevel.Itcanbeplayedwithaddition,subtraction,and
multiplication.Thegamecanbeplayedtimed,oruntimedaswell,whichmakesitgoodfor
studentswhoenjoyachallenge,orforstudentswhoworkbestwhentheytaketheirtime.

3.Education.com:Education.comisaresourcethatteacherscanuseintheirclassroomfor
variousagelevels.Thewebsitehasavarietyofinteractivegamesthatcouldbeplayedmy
studentsindividually,orasaclassontheSmartboard.Thewebsitehasgamesthatsuitmany

differentsubjectareastomath,andwouldbeveryfunasawaytointroduceaunittopicand
getstudentsexcitedandinterested.Thewebsitealsohasworksheetsandotherresources
availableforteacherstouseintheirclassandwiththeirlessons.

AnnotatedBibliography:TeachingChildrenFractions

Abstract:

Thearticlesreviewedinthisannotatedbibliographyarefocusedonthetopicofteaching
childrenfractions.Theconceptoffractionsformanyelementarystudentscanbea
difficultsubjecttograsp,howeverthesearticlesprovideeffectiveandrealisticstrategies
foreducatorstoreachtheirstudents.Thearticlesoutlinedetailedactivitiesthatmake
theconceptoffractionsfunandengagingforelementarystudentswhichwillhavea
positiveimpactontheiroverallunderstandingofthesubject.Thesearticlesallinclude
methodsofteachingfractionsthatIfullyplanonimplementingintomyownclassroom.

1. Kosbob,S.,&Moyer,P.(2004).PicnickingwithFractions.
TeachingChildren
Mathematics,10
(7),375381.
ThearticlePicnickingwithFractionsexplainingafunandinteractivewayto
engageelementarystudentsinfractions.Thelessonwasdesignedtopreparestudents
formathematicalinvestigation(376).Fractionscanbeadifficultsubjectforstudentsto
grasp,andchildrenshouldunderstandthatfractionalpartsareequalsharesofawhole

unit.Theauthorsrecommendareviewonthebasicconceptsoffractionsbefore
beginningtheactivity,thenplacingstudentsinpairsortrios,andfinallyintroducingthe
picnicscenario.Thestudentshavetothinkofwaysthatfoodcanbedividedupequally
amongtenfriendsatapicnic,leavingnoleftovers.Thestudentsareaskedavarietyof
questionsthatwillpromptstudentstothinkaboutratiosandthinkcriticallysothatthere
isnofoodleftover,whileexplainingtheiranswersinwords,pictures,anddiagrams.
Studentsarealsoabletousevariousmanipulativestoanswerthequestionswitha
highernumberofmultiples(376).Thequestionsallowstudentstobecreativeand
provideavarietyofanswers(377).Theactivityallowsformorethanoneclasstowork
outthevarioussolutions,makingitafunandinteractivewaytoworkwithfractions.

2.KondexMcLeman,L.,&Cavell,H.(2009).TeachingFractions.
TeachingChildren
Mathematics,15
(8),494501.

ThearticleTeachingFractionsexplainstheimportanceofanalyzingstudent
worksamplesandthebenefitsthestrategyhas,especiallyfornewteachers.Itbegins
bystatingthatexaminingstudentworksampleshelpspreserviceteacherstogain
insightintotheirownbeliefsandwhatitmeanstoknowanddomathematics.(494)Itis
alsoanimportantstrategytousetoacquireknowledgeoftheelementstheyneedfor
teachingtheirownstudents.ThearticlealsopointsoutthatMathematicalKnowledgefor
Teaching(MKT),isdifferentthanthemathematicalknowledgethatteachersneed.
Beingabletoassiststudentsintheirownunderstandingrequiresthatteachershavean
understandingofconceptsthatunderlieprocedures,aswellasperforminganerror
analysistodeterminewhereastudent'smistakelies(494).Beingawareofthe
languageyouusewhileyouareteaching,aswellaschoosingeffectiverepresentations
tomodelconceptsisanimportantaspectofhavingMKT(498).

3.Mokashi,N.(2009).MathFair:FocusonFractions.
TeachingChildrenMathematics,
10
(7),542551.

ThearticleMathFair:FocusonFractionsisanindepthlookattheprocessof
puttingonamathfair,aswellastheeffectsthatishasonthestudents.Themain
purposeofhostingamathfairwouldbetocreateaneffectivemathematicsenvironment
forstudentswhileenablingthemtoparticipateinmathematicalexperimentation(543).
Thebasicconceptsofamathfairaretocreatemathematicallearningenvironments,
observestudentsparticipationandresponsetovariousactivities,andtousemathfair
activitiesasteachingaidsandstudentenrichmentindaytodayclassroom
instruction(543).Toholdamathfairittakealotofplanning,buttheoutcomefromthe
studentswillbeworththeeffort.Thefairthatwasdiscussedinthearticleincludeda
varietyofobjectsworkedintotheexhibits,aswellasgamesthatengagedthe
participants(546).Thefractiongamesthatwereintroducedatthemathfairwerethen
implementedintoactivitiesineverydayclassworkbecauseofthesuccessthatwas
foundfromthefair(548).Themathfairhadapositiveimpactonthestudentswho
participatedanditwasoverallapositivelearningexperience.Onestudentsreflectedon
themathfairandsaidIfthesegamescometoourclassroom,Iwontknowitasmath
classitwouldbefun.(549)

4.Ortiz,E.(2006).TheRollOutFractionsGame:ComparingFractions.
Teaching
ChildrenMathematics,

13
(1),5662.

ThisarticlebyEnriqueOrtizdiscussesagamethatelementaryschoolteachers
canuseintheirclassroomswhenteachingstudentsaboutfractions.Thegamerequires
twoplayersandanumbercubethattheteachercanmakethemselves.Takingturnsthe
studentswillrollthedieanddecidewhatnumberthatwoulduseintheirfraction,to
makethesmallestpossiblefraction,thepartnerswillthencomparethefractionsthey
havemadeusing>,<,and=(56).Thismethodwillgetstudentsthinkingabouthowto

makepredictionsandthinkcriticallyaboutwhattheywillneedtowinthegame(59).The
authoralsostatesthatthegameisveryversatileandcouldbeusedatanothergrade
levelifitwasadapted(62).Teacherscanusethisgameasanassessmenttool,asthe
conceptsareextremelyimportanttohaveafirmgrasponifstudentsaregoingtomove
intoamoreformalstudyoffractions(62).

5.
Siebert,D.,&Gaskin,N.(2008).Creating,Naming,andJustifyingFractions.
TeachingChildrenMathematics,

12
(8),394400.

Thearticlebeginsbystatingthatfractionscanbeoneofthemostdifficulttopics
forstudentstolearninelementaryschool(394).Fractionshavemanypossible
meanings,includingpartwholerelationships,quotientsorratios.Becauseofthe
complexityofthesubject,studentsmaylosesightoftheforegoingmeaningsandsee
fractionsastwoseparatewholenumberswithspatialrelationships(394).Thearticle
statesthatimagesareawaytoprovidestudentsjustificationoftheirfractionwith
reasoningbyiteratingandpartitioningimages.Theactionsofiteratingandpartitioning
havebeenrecognizedasimportanttounderstandingandoperatingonfractions(395).
Theauthorsalsobringuptheissuethatusingthetermoutofhasonstudentswhen
talkingaboutfractionsandhowitcanpaintanunclearpictureofwhatthefraction
actuallyisinsomeoneshead(397).Thearticleemphasizestheimportanceofpaying
attentiontothelanguagethatteachersusebecauseitcomeswithunderlyingimages
thatmayconfusestudents(400).

NCTMArticleReview:MathematicsandtheRealWorld

1. Basile,C.(1999).CollectingDataOutdoors:MakingConnectionstotheRealWorld.
TeachingChildrenMathematics,

6
(1),812.

Inthearticle
CollectingDataOutdoors:MakingConnectionstotheRealWorld
,the
author,CaroleBasile,statesintheverybeginningtheimportanceofchildrenexperiencing
learningthroughtheoutdoors.Whenchildrenareexposedtolearningthroughnature,they
areabletomakeconnectionsthattheyotherwisewouldnot,iftheystayedintheclassroom.
Basilestatesthat,Takingchildrenonwalksinthewoods,atourlocalpark,orsimplyaround
theschoolyardcanpromptmanydiscoveriesaboutthenaturalworld(8),andthesearenot
limitedtoscientificdiscoveries.
Whenchildrenareabletoexploretheoutdoors,theyautomaticallydeveloptheirown
perceptionsoftheworld,whetherfactualornot.Childrenwillnotchangetheirperceptionsif
theyaresimplytoldtheyareuntrue,theyneedtodeveloptheirskillsindatacollectioninorder
toreasonforthemselvesbasedontheinformationtheycollect.Datacollectionisaskillthat
childrendevelopwhichallowsthemtoformtheirownperceptionsbasedonpatternsand
reasoning,thathelpsdevelopideasfromthingsthattheyhaveobservedwiththeirowneyes.
Datacollectionbuildsbeliefsaboutwhatmathematicstrulyisandwhatitmeanstoknow
mathematics(8).
Teachingchildrentounderstanddatacollectioncanbeginatasyoungofagradeas
Kindergarten.Thestudentsinthearticlewerekindergartenerswhoexperimentedwithdata
collectionoutdoors.Thoughtheymaybeinexperiencedincollectingdata,themoreoftenthat
studentsareinvolvedincollectingdataandaskthequestionsthemselves,themorelikely
theywillbetomakesenseofdata(9).Thedatathatthestudentswerecollectingwas
comparinganimalsthatwesawandanimalsthatweheard.Evenasimpledatacollection
ofthisnatureteachesthestudentshowtocollect,organizeandsorttheirowndata.
Thedatacollectionactivitythatthisarticledescribed,showshowstudentsdevelop
manyimportantmathematicalskillsthroughtheirowndatacollection.Studentsnotonlygaina
deeperunderstandingofmathematicalconcepts,buttheyalsodeveloptheskillsnecessaryto
createtheirowneducatedperceptionsofthenaturalworld.Basilestressestheimportanceof
educatorscreatingmathematicalenvironmentsthatareengaginganddirectlyrelatedtothe
realworld(12).Thisiscrucialforstudentstohaveapassionandunderstandingof
mathematics.


2.
Kalchman,M.(2009).UsingtheMathematicsWeDoEveryday.
TeachingChildren
Mathematics,
15(

9),532539.

M.Kalchmansarticletitled
UsingMathematicsWeDoEveryday
,isalookattheuse
ofmathematicsinoureverydaylives,andhowitcanbeappliedtoouroverallunderstanding
ofmathematicsandwellasourteachingmethods.Kalchmanteachesmathematicsto
preserviceteachers,andshowsthemwaystoovercometheirfearsandanxietytowards
mathematics,anddevelopathoroughunderstandingthattheycancarryontotheirteaching.
Thepreserviceteacherswereaskedtoanalyzetheawaythattheyhaveusedmathematicsin
theireverydaylives,theassignmentwasfirstmetwithdissatisfiedstudents,butintheendit
openedupthestudentsminds.
Thearticledetailshowtheshiftawayfromtraditionalmethodsofteachingwherethere
isonlyonecorrectwaytodothings,andtherewaslittlestrayingawayfromthetextbookisa
necessaryshiftthatneedstobemade.Thisisespeciallytruewithteachingmathematics.
Studentswhohaddevelopedfearsandanxietytowardsmathbecamethiswayinelementary
school.Becausetheywereunabletounderstandhowtheirneighboursweregettingan
answer,andsolvingitadifferentwaywouldhavebeenincorrect(535),theproblemsin
understandingandoverallconfidencecontinuedtoregress.Onestudentclaimedthat
Mathematicsmakesmefeelinadequate,Ihaveanxietythatwasinstilledatanearlyageand
wasreinforcedovertheyearsofmyeducation(535).Feelinglikethistowardsmathematics
wouldsurelynotbeagoodbackgroundifyouaretosuccessfullyteachmathematics,and
admittingthatitonlygotworsethroughthetimeyouspentinschoolmeansthatthereneeds
tobesomechangesmadeinthewaymathematicsistaughtandperceived.
Kalchmanworkedwiththesestudentstobuilduptheirconfidenceandshowthemthat
thereisnotonecorrectwaytosolveaproblem.KalchmannoticedthatWhenstudentslearn
thatsecretmethodsarevalid,acceptable,andencouraged,theclassprofilechanges,and
individualsbegintoprogress.(536)Thesecretmethods,arethemethodsthatstudents
usedtosolveproblemsbythinkingoutsidetheboxandnotfollowingthetextbookapproach.
Byshowingstudentsthattheirownideasarevaluedinmathematics,theanxietyandstress
thatmathematicsusedtobringtothesestudentsdiminished(536).
Overall,thearticleemphasizestwomainpoints.One,thateducatorsshouldbe
acceptingdifferentwaysofsolvingmathematicsfromtheirstudents.Thisencourages

studentstoappreciatemathematicsandreducesthestressthatissometimesassociatedwith
thesubject.Secondly,usingproblemsthatcanbeappliedtoreallifewillanimatethe
classroom(598)andmakemathematicsmoreaccessibleforstudentsunderstanding.

3.
Yang,D.(2006).DevelopingNumberSensethroughRealLifeSituationsinSchool.
TeachingChildrenMathematics,

13
(2),104110
InD.Yangsarticle
DevelopingNumberSenseThroughRealLifeSituationsinSchool
,
theimportanceofteachingchildrentoapplynumbersinrealcontextssothatthenumbers
haveasignificantmeaningforthem(104).Theimportanceofdevelopinggoodnumbersense
earlyintheelementaryyearsbecauseitallowsthemtodevelopreferencesformeasuring
commonobjectsandsituationsintheirenvironments.(104)Thearticleisgearedtowards
elementaryteacherswhoareteachersofmathematics.Yangsarticlearguesthatchildrens
numbersensecanbeformedthroughinteractionseverydayobjectsinrealisticsettings.
Theteacher(Hsu)whoisdepictedinthisarticledevelopsanenvironmentinhisfourth
gradeclassroomthatengagesallofitsstudentsandencourageseveryonetoactively
participate.Hsugivesstudentsamathproblemthatrequiresteamworkanddiscussion
amongstthestudentstobeginproblemsolving.Thestudentswhowereworkinginthesmall
groupstosolvetheproblemweregiventheopportunitytodiscusshowtheyweregoingto
solveitandthenexplaintotheotherstudentsintheclass,aswellastheteacherhowthey
solvedit(105).Theteacherisfacilitatingadiscussionamongthestudentsandcreatinga
goodlearningenvironment,andwhiledoingthisitencouragesexploration,communication,
andreasoning(108).
Theactivitythatthetheteacherhadhisclassparticipateinrevealedthatwhen
studentsaregivenmathematicalquestionsthatrelatetoreallifesituations,thestudent
involvementbecomesmuchhigherandtheclassbecomesmuchmoreinvestedinthe
problemstheyaresolving(109).Thestudentsweregivenaproblembasedaroundtheir
schoolsbasketballcourt,atopicthatwassomethingthatcouldbeeasilyvisualizedandthey
werefamiliarwith.Alongwiththetopicofthequestiontheteacheralsoallowedthestudents
toworktogetherandproblemsolveingroups.Bydoingthisthestudentsweregivena
positiveenvironmenttoworkin,andwereabletopushthemselvestosolveproblemsthey
hadnopreviousexperiencein.