In order to develop every student’s mathematical proficiency, leaders and teachers must systematically integrate the use of concrete and virtual manipulatives into classroom instruction at all grade levels (NCSM, 2013). Virtual manipulatives can be used as a part of the Concrete-Representational-Abstract (C-R-A) learning cycle. These manipulatives are important tools for teacher modeling and demonstration, and provide students access to manipulatives both inside and outside of the school day via computers and other mobile devices (NCSM, 2013).
Here’s a sample of virtual manipulatives that are available for teachers and students:
Math Learning Center Apps are free virtual manipulative apps that are available in two or more versions: a web app for all modern browsers, and downloadable versions for specific operating systems and devices (such as Apple iOS for iPad).
Illuminations Interactives from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) contain virtual manipulatives and applets identified by grade band. Apps for mobile devices are also among interactives.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt iTools contain virtual manipulatives with activities for the following: counters, base-ten blocks, number lines, number charts, graphs, fractions, geometry, measurement, algebra, and probability.
Glencoe/McGraw-Hill virtual manipulatives include a series of commonly used manipulatives. It also includes game boards, story boards, various grids, graph formats and number lines. Tools include a ruler, protractor, timer, stopwatch, straight line tool, pen, color options, text boxes, and more.
National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics. (2013). Improving student achievement in mathematics by using manipulatives with classroom instruction. Retrieved from mathedleadership.org