Students with physical disabilities can utilize virtual manipulatives when access to concrete materials is not feasible. There is research that supports the use of technology-based manipulatives with students who experience difficulty with abstract mathematical concepts.
Students with physical disabilities can utilize virtual manipulatives when access to concrete materials is not feasible. Further, there is research that supports the use of technology-based manipulatives with students who experience difficulty with abstract mathematical concepts. As noted by Anstrom (2006), “selecting and accessing the appropriate tools and processes for students with disabilities is critical to their understanding of mathematics” (p.11). Multiple forms of representation, links, notations and endless objects are easily accessible with virtual manipulatives (Moyer, Salkind, & Bolyard, 2008). The past and current adoption of Virginia’s Mathematics Standards of Learning (2009) have included mathematical representations in all forms. The new math standards are to be fully implemented this school year, 2011-2012.
Virtual manipulatives can be part of the consideration for assisitve technology during the IEP process for individual students. It is important to make sure the virtual manipulatives are interactive and not static images.
Interactive rods to assist with basic multiplication facts are used with the online activity at the link below: http://www.mathcats.com/microworlds/multiplication_rods.html
Pattern blocks are offered virtually at the site called Math Toybox, and can be manipulated to create images and designs. There is a “save as a picture” feature available. http://mathtoybox.com/patblocks3/patblocks3.html.
National Library of Virtual Manipulatives http://nlvm.usu.edu/en/nav/vlibrary.html Access free online virtual manipulatives for numbers & operations, algebra, geometry, measurement and data analysis, and probability. Also, a CD is available for purchase to use offline. Visit the T-TAC ODU Lending Library to check out the CD!
Smart Notebook Math Tools software offers virtual manipulatives, interactive graphing, and solving of equations as well as the ability to recognize handwritten mathematical equations. A free 30-day trial is available at Smart Tech .
Anstrom,T. (2006). Supporting students in mathematics through the use of manipulatives. Retrieved from
Moyer, P.S., Salkind, G., & Bolyard, J.J. (2008). Virtual manipulatives used by k-8 teachers for mathematics instruction: The
influence of mathematical, cognitive, and pedagogical fidelity. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 8(3), 202-218.
Virginia Department of Education (2009). Mathematics Standards of Learning. Richmond, VA: Virginia Department of Education.