Using Manipulatives to Teach Abstract Concepts in Mathematics

Algorithms are not the panacea to student success in mathematics. To the contrary, conceptual understanding, over procedural knowledge, is the linchpin of mathematical fluency. Students who are given the instructional opportunity to develop a firm grasp on concepts prior to engaging in problem solving are exponentially more likely to demonstrate mastery of the content in the independent setting. This workshop will expose participants to the literature on the use of manipulatives in mathematics instruction and the how-to’s of matching specific mathematical concepts with appropriate manipulatives.