Resources and Tools for Elementary Math Specialists and Teachers
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Rethinking Concrete Manipulatives

This article provides information from research on the benefits and cautions associated with using manipulatives to teach children. The authors urge that much care be used in assessing whether the learner regards the activity with concrete objects in the same context as was intended by the instructor. The article looks at the comparative advantages of computer manipulatives and gives advice on the selection and use of both physical and computer manipulatives. An extensive reference list is included.
Contributed by: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) - Publisher, Douglas Clements - Author, Sue McMillen - Author, TERC - Publisher
This resource is included in the following PD Collection(s):
Developing Geometric ConceptsThis collection helps educators determine best practices for developing their students’ geometric thinking about shape and space. The resources include research and expert commentary about children’s capacity for understanding geometric concepts, as well as teaching suggestions and activities that can be used in the classroom.
CCSS Practice Standard 4This collection supports teachers as they integrate Practice Standard 4 into their classroom routines. In these articles, videos, and lesson studies, teachers will see strategies that help guide students to use concrete, pictorial, and symbolic representations to describe mathematical situations in everyday life. Additional resources for immediate use in the classroom can be found in a companion classroom collection.
Math TopicNumber Sense, Mathematical Practices, Mathematical Processes
Grade LevelK, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Resource TypeReference Materials, Article

  • Additional Information
    • AudienceEducator
    • LanguageEnglish (USA)
    • Education TopicEducational research, Instructional materials, Integrating technology, Misconceptions
    • Interdisciplinary Connection
    • Professional DevelopmentYes
    • ContributorNational Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) - Publisher, Douglas Clements - Author, Sue McMillen - Author, TERC - Publisher
    • Publication Date1996
    • RightsCopyright 2012, TERC, All Rights Reserved.
    • AccessFree access
  • Standards
    • Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

      Select a standards document: