# Making Math Meaningful with Virtual Math Manipulatives

Use technology to help you teach math

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Use the real world to teach without the mess of physical manipulatives. In brief, virtual math manipulatives are powerful tools for math teachers everywhere. On the whole, many teachers don’t understand how to use them. So, today, you’ll get a simple tour of virtual math manipulatives from expert David Wees.

In light of the fact that NCTM (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics) and other organizations highly recommend manipulatives in the math classroom, today’s topic is essential for math teachers. At this point, pretty much every standard out there has math manipulatives you can use to teach it. Despite what some may think, virtual math manipulatives AREN’T videos — they are tools that allow students to interact and manipulate objects as they learn.

Listen to this show on: BAM Radio Network | iTunes

## Today’s Sponsor Matific

Virtual math manipulatives are awesome. However, finding the perfect manipulative takes time. Matific does the work for you. To simplify the process for teachers, they’ve aligned their virtual math manipulatives to Common Core and State Standards. You can even look up popular math textbooks and it will give you the manipulatives that will work for you (by chapter and page!)

You can assign students different manipulatives to use. Moreover, if you have ELL students, they have 27 languages you can assign to students. So, you can set the “primary language” for a student and they’ll receive instruction in that language. (You can print out parent reports in their native language too.) I took a tour of Matific and came away excited to see the future of math education. It saves time for teachers and makes math instruction easier. Check out Matific, take a tour, and play with the manipulatives that align with your textbook today.

In summary, Matific lets you use math manipulatives without the work of finding just the right one for your unit of study.

## Show Notes on Virtual Math Manipulatives

• What are virtual manipulatives?
• How can I use them in a math classroom to teach math?
• What are examples of how teachers might use virtual manipulatives to teach math concepts?
• Can virtual manipulatives be used as formative assessment tools?
• How do students learn math?
• Can a teacher’s expert bias can cause teachers to make a mistake when using virtual manipulatives?
• Research on Math Manipulatives as mentioned in the show.
• What mistakes did David make in the early years of teaching math?
• The mistakes teachers make when students struggle that can cause gaps in learning.