Active Engagement in Math Class: Session 5

Session 5: The Role of Manipulatives and Representations in PreK-12 Classrooms

This video from this session will be available for people that signed up for Active Engagement in Math Class: A Microburst Series for K-8 Administrators. If you are registered, please enter the password you were sent. If you aren’t registered, please use this link to register for this free professional learning opportunity: Microburst Series Registration

Date: May 25, 2018


  1. Introduction
  2. Discussing the Roles of Manipulatives and Representations
  3. Misconceptions About Manipulatives in the Classroom
  4. The Concrete to Abstract Continuum
  5. Working with Older Students
  6. Next Steps


The True Scale Multiplication Grid by The

Research on the Benefits of Manipulatives

Representations and Manipulatives and Tools and Things by Tracy Zager 

Here are 2 videos showing our colleagues’ classrooms and demonstrating the use of manipulatives and representations to support a greater understanding of the structure of numbers and operations. Both Jan and Lara were part of our NSF funded project on building algebraic reasoning in the elementary grades. The project was a partnership between Mount Holyoke College (MHC), Educational Development Center (EDC), and TERC led by Virginia Bastable, Susan Jo Russell, and Deborah Schifter.

Video 1: Jan’s Class

Video 2: Lara’s Class