Teaching

Manipulating the Numbers

By Hollice Fisher — December 22, 2006 1 min read

Math shouldn’t be a spectator sport. That’s the philosophy behind the National Library of Virtual Manipulatives a free collection of more than 100 digital activities aimed at helping preK to 12th grade students explore math concepts.

Developed in 1999 by a team from Utah State University, the site includes games, tutorials, and digital depictions of physical objects that students can count, stack, measure, or otherwise manipulate. Kindergartners, for example, can explore the relationship between parts and a whole by grouping, rotating, and cloning virtual blocks. High school students, meanwhile, can learn geometry and logic by programming a digital turtle to navigate a maze.

The activities are categorized by grade level and topic. Each comes with a parent/teacher section and links to curriculum standards from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. The library is also available for sale on compact discs, which can be purchased through the Web site individually or in bulk, with packages starting at $29.95 for use on one computer.

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A version of this article appeared in the January 01, 2007 edition of Teacher

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