By Angela Howard
“Students learn math concepts best when they have manipulatives in their hands because they can physically see what the numbers and words on the page represent.” That’s the motivation behind Mrs. Young’s decision to write for a grant from the Frenship Foundation. The name of her grant was “From Concrete to Pictorial to Abstract”. Mrs. Young stated that a side bonus of having manipulatives rather than only pencil/paper tasks makes learning fun. (And if it is fun, they will want to learn even more.)
Before writing the grant, Mrs. Young inquired of each math teacher on campus asking what materials they need in order to help make students more successful in math. Each grade level came up with ten types of manipulatives for the different concepts they teach during the year. Later, each grade level narrowed down their choices to the three most versatile and most vital types of manipulatives. Those were the manipulatives chosen for the grant. A few of these include class sets of coins for financial literacy, magnetic ten frames, Rekenrek beads, shapes students can hold in their hands, many different tools for addition and subtraction, tubs of materials to help students visualize fractions and much more.
Mrs. Young was ecstatic to discover that she had been given the grant. When the materials arrived, she organized them by level in a Math Manipulative Library. Organizing the materials by level provides teachers a way to differentiate learning and find materials that are just right for each individual student.
The day the lending library opened, Mrs. Young had brownies and cookies creating a small open house for the manipulative library. Teachers were incredibly thrilled about the manipulatives and said it was better than Christmas!
“This generous grant is one that will benefit not just one classroom, but the entire school!,” she said.
Thank you, Frenship Foundation!