6 Great Virtual Manipulative Tools for the Math Classroom
- Connect real-world issues (i.e. COVID stats, lockdown numbers, etc.) with math concepts to take a "meaningful mathematics," approach.
- Blend synchronous and asynchronous instruction.
- Emphasize modeling, student interests, and hands-on activities.
It made me think about how important virtual manipulatives are for modeling math concepts and providing students with hands-on learning opportunities. Here are six great tools for providing students with hands-on learning opportunities for math!
#1 - Didax
Didax has approximately 19 different pre-created virtual manipulatives for teaching math, such as ten-frames, number lines, fraction tiles, and more!
I love using the Unifix Cubes and Base-Ten Blocks for counting activities, adding, subtracting, and division. It's easy to use and can be used on any device. Simply share the link to the activity on Google Classroom or your favorite LMS.
# 2 - Classkick
Classkick is an awesome tool for creating your own customized virtual manipulatives for the math classroom. Although it sounds intimidating, it is very easy to create!
#3 - Toy TheatreToy Theatre is a great place to get virtual manipulatives and resources for a variety of subject areas geared towards the elementary classroom. If you are teaching virtually, Toy Theatre could provide a variety of math learning options to help students learn multiplication and division, alphabetical order, symmetry, and more!
#4 - Mathigon
Here is a quick 4-minute tutorial to learn more about the Polypad feature!
#5 - National Library of Virtual Manipulatives
#6 - Google SlidesDid you know that you could use Google Slides as a tool for virtual manipulatives? I was recently in a 4th-grade classroom, where we wanted to help students understand how to convert units of measurement like ounces to pounds and pounds to tons.
We developed the following Google Slides presentation to help students. Students are asked to guess how many ounces are in a pound, then they are asked to drag the one-ounce boxes into the one-pound container. When they are finished, they will record their answer in the answer box.
Feel free to access your own copy of this presentation here!
Want to see how it works? Check out my video!
Montejo-Gámez, J., Amador-Saelices, M., & Fernández-Plaza, J. (2022). Teaching mathematics to reflect on the COVID-19 pandemic: Best practices. In Daniela, L., & Visvizi, A. (Eds.). (2022). Remote learning in times of pandemic: Issues, implications and best practice (p. 13 - 34) Routledge.