Virtual Manipulatives

Virtual Manipulatives are usually in the form of Java or Flash Applets which are modeled after traditional concrete manipulatives. They are an additional tool, which will help your students construct meaning by changing the physical properties of objects by flipping, rotating, and turning them. By using multiple strategies for instruction, virtual manipulatives allow students of all ability levels to construct knowledge and engage in abstract mathematical concepts, thus leading to deeper understanding and increased achievement in math test scores.

Listed below are a variety of virtual manipulatives found on the web that can be utilized in your classroom provided that you have Java installed on your computers. You can download Java , for free from Sun Microsystems to interact with virtual manipulatives.

National Library of Virtual Manipulatives for Interactive Mathematics contains manipulatives and associated online activities for each of the five strands identified in standards set forth by the NCTM. This is an ongoing project of Utah State University and a must see site for grades preK-12. You can choose manipulatives from the grade level you teach and an activity from one of the NCTM strands.

Number Line Applet: Introduce addition and subtraction of integers with this number line. Students see the concept after clicking onto the integers (-35 to 35) for the problem. From MSTE at University of Illinois-Urbana_Champaign.

Thinking Blocks were designed to help young students in grades 3-5 develop strong problem solving skills by teaching children how to visualize and solve math word problems. Using interactive blocks and cubes, children create models that illustrate the underlying math concepts within the problems.

Using Virtual Manipulatives on the Web to Develop Number Sense is a website created by Margo Mankus and hosted by the Graduate School of Education at George Mason University contains three interactive applets and a host of activities to develop concepts of number, operations, and geometry. The Applets, developed by J. Bulaevsky, include pattern blocks, base ten blocks, and integer rods.