Using Virtual Manipulatives in Your Classroom

Instructional Strategies: 
Visual Representations

Have you considered bringing technology into your math instruction, but been left wondering how to do that constructively? Using virtual manipulatives is the perfect starting point! You can begin with simple graphical representations of math concepts that students can interact with and work your way towards more complex modules that require the students to create the data or work within a system of rules, like a game. However you choose to take your first steps towards the use of virtual manipulatives in math, PowerUp WHAT WORKS can help you do it, armed with a solid foundation in the research and best practices that ensure the effective use of these instructional tools.

First, take a look at our Quick View on virtual manipulatives for an introduction to the practice:

If you want to dig deeper into the research foundation behind the best practices in the use of virtual manipulatives, take a look at our Tech Research Brief on the topic. Take your math instruction to the next level and have students create their own visual representations and models! Check out our blog post on teaching students to code to see how you can use simple tools like SketchUp, Scratch, or Alice to help your students create their own math manipulatives!

Let us know how you plan to use—or are already using—virtual manipulatives in your classroom by commenting below, today!

Acknowledgement: Special thanks to Michael McGarrah for helping to compile this post. 

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