This is the fifth in a series of seven posts sharing reasons virtual manipulatives should be the cornerstone of interactive content in the classroom including specific practical examples. (The previous posts can be viewed here: Part 1-Visualizing, Part 2-Explore Difficult Concepts, Part 3-Access Materials/Added Value, Part 4- Inquiry Learning)
Virtual manipulatives can provide a new way to present a concept to student. We know that students learn in different ways, so using an uncommon manipulative can be a way to help students understand a concept they are struggling to grasp. Using a variety of manipulatives can also challenge the understand of advanced learners and encourage them to look at a concept in a new way.
Below are three manipulatives that help students look at concepts in a new way:
Build numbers with a model that is uses colors to indicate value. Compare this model to traditional base ten blocks.
Use number line bars to explore the concept of multiplication as repeated addition.
Create a pattern with images and sound.