Back to Basics: Manipulatives in the Classroom Blog Feature

By: Margo Ensz on July 1st, 2014

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Back to Basics: Manipulatives in the Classroom

Featured Topics: Differentiated Instruction | Featured Topics: Student Engagement

We just got back from ISTE 2014—what an experience! After a tech-ridden weekend, we took time to reflect on how we support traditional classroom learning methods—methods that have remained into the 21st century. That’s when we started thinking about manipulatives. Manipulatives don’t have to be just building blocks or cubes—anything a visual-kinesthetic learner can physically or visually manipulate on his or her own that aids their learning process is a manipulative worth exploring.

describe the imageManipulatives engage and motivate students to make connections from the concrete to abstract. For high-risk students, students with disabilities, and language learners, having a visual-kinesthetic method of learning and problem solving can also lead to greater self-confidence. 

Here are a few ways we encourage educators to use manipulatives using our Cutout Maker or Awards Maker:

  • Save staff time by quickly and easily creating manipulatives, cutouts and bulletin board displays for a hands-on, interactive learning experience
  • Engage visual, kinesthetic and tactile learners with manipulatives and cutouts
  • Illustrate complex concepts with engaging cutout collections to raisedescribe the image student success
  • Create word walls with words formed by automatically connected letters
  • Save money with the versatility and scalability of the electronic die-cuts
  • Help students retain key lessons on their own or in a group with customized flashcards

How do you use manipulatives in your classroom? Do they help your students? Let us know in the comments!