Using Math Manipulatives Effectively in the Classroom A go to guide for enriching your program

Using Math Manipulatives in the classroom can enrich your program and provide hands-on, tangible materials for students to manipulate to develop their understanding, extend their thinking, and support their communication of their learning. Clicking the link below will bring you to the National Library of Virtual Manipulatives which lists each strand (by division) and allows you to access virtual manipulatives that support learning in that strand.

This link has glitches in JAVA. Something to note.

Cuisenaire Rods

A manipulative that has endless possibilities for number sense.




CPA/CRA-Concrete Pictorial/Reprsentational Abstract

Manipulatives to Support Number Sense & Numeration

Base 10 Blocks- place value, adding & subtracting

Number Lines-integers, adding & subtracting, counting, fractions and decimals

Hundreds Chart-counting

Money-making change, adding and subtracting money

Counters-counting, adding & subtracting

Playing Cards & Dice-integers, multiplication & division, adding & subtracting

Geoboards-multiplication & division (arrays), fractions

Fraction Bars/Rods/Tiles-fractions and operations with fractions, decimals, percents

Algebra Tiles (two coloured tiles)-Zero principle, integers adding & subtracting

Hundreds Chain

Patterning & Algebra

Pattern Blocks-designing patterns

Algebra Tiles-Algebraic expressions, balancing equations, simplifying expressions

Unifix Cubes-balancing both sides of an equation

Pan Balance-balancing both sides of an equation

Data Management & Probability

Pattern Blocks/Coloured Counters/Unifix Cubes-determining probability of pulling specific items out of a bag

Linking Cubes/Unifix Cubes-mean, median, mode

Dice-probability or rolling certain numbers or combinations of numbers


Rulers-linear measurement, area, perimeter

Protractor-measuring angles

Compass-creating circles

Geoboards-area & perimeter

Pattern Blocks/Unifix Cubes/Playing Cards-non-standard units

Student Clock-telling time, duration/elapsed time

Geometry & Spatial Sense

Geoboards-features of 2D shapes

3D Solids-features of 3D Figures

Polydrons-examining nets

Pattern Blocks/Tangrams/Pentominoes-identifying attributes of 2D Shapes, classifying angles, symmetry, transformations, spatial sense

Virtual Manipulatives



Money US

Math Vocab Cards

Number Frames

Number Lines

Number Pieces

Number Pieces Basic

Number Racks (Rekenrek)

Pattern Shapes

Apps on the DPCDSB iPads

Sketchpad Explorer

Drag, manipulate and animate visual mathematics to develop and generalize your understanding of fundamental concepts across elementary math, geometry, algebra, trigonometry, calculus, and beyond.

The next session will focus on a Balanced Math Program and Balanced Assessments using the Four Categories of Achievement: Knowledge & Understanding, Thinking, Communication, and Application

Stay tuned for date announcements...

Created By
Carla Champsi


Created with images by jimmiehomeschoolmom - "manipulatives are free!" • smithi1 - "Cuisenaire Rods" • jimmiehomeschoolmom - "balance scale and pattern blocks" • possbeth - "Number Line Bounce NLVM"

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