Manipulative Mathematics Activities

We have over 25 Manipulative Mathematics activities we have used with our students in our classrooms.  These activities help students develop conceptual understanding of many basic mathematics and prealgebra concepts.  You can read more about the philosophy behind these activities and their unique features on the Manipulative Mathematics page.

Teacher training videos giving guidance on the use of all the Manipulative Mathematics activities can be viewed at this link:  Manipulative Mathematics Teacher Training Videos.

We are happy to share our activities with you!  The activities, listed below, are grouped into packets – within each packet the activities focus on a common concept and/or use a common manipulative. The packets include an instructor page, student worksheet, and extra practice problems for each activity.  You may download the packets from the links listed below.

Manipulative Mathematics Activities:

1. In the Number Line Packet , students create number lines and locate counting numbers, whole numbers, integers, and fractions. They learn to visualize how these sets of numbers relate to each other.
Activities in this packet:

  • The Number Line Part 1 – Counting Numbers and Whole Numbers
  • The Number Line Part 2 – Integers
  • The Number Line Part 3 – Fractions

2. The Game of Twenty-four is a fun way to have students practice basic number facts, the order of operations, and correct algebraic notation.
Activity in this packet:

  • Game of Twenty-four

3. The concepts of multiples, factors, and prime numbers are explored through the use of hundreds charts in the Multiples and Primes Packet .
Activities in this packet:

  • Multiples
  • Prime Numbers

4. In the Signed Numbers Packet students use two-color counters to model addition and subtraction of integers.
Activities in this packet:

  • Addition of Signed Numbers
  • Subtraction of Signed Numbers

5. The Visualizing Fractions Packet helps students understand the basic properties of fractions. Students practice modeling and naming proper fractions, improper fractions, and mixed numbers, find fractions equivalent to one, and model equivalent fractions. They learn to connect the visual models with the abstract concepts of fractions.
Activities in this packet:

  • Model Fractions
  • Fractions Equivalent to One
  • Model Improper Fractions and Mixed Numbers
  • Model Equivalent Fractions

6. With Multiplying and Dividing Fractions Packet students will model fraction multiplication and division. They will see why we use a reciprocal when dividing fractions but not when multiplying them.
Activities in this packet:

  • Model Fraction Multiplication
  • Model Fraction Division

7. By working through the Adding and Subtracting Fractions Packet students will see why they need a common denominator when adding or subtracting fractions. They will also use fraction models to find a common denominator.
Activities in this packet:

  • Model Fraction Addition
  • Model Fraction Subtraction
  • Model Finding the Least Common Denominator

8. Students build rectangular arrays in the Multiples & Factors Packet to give them a visual representation of multiplying and factoring.
Activities in this packet:

  • Model Multiplication and Factoring
  • Square Numbers

9. In the Equations Packet students model solving equations using the Subtraction and Division Properties of Equality.
Activities in this packet:

  • Subtraction Property of Equality
  • Division Property of Equality

10. In the Coin Lab Packet students develop an organized strategy for solving coin word problems.
Activity in this packet:

  • Coin Lab

11. Students use square tiles to work with perimeter and area concretely in the Area and Perimeter Packet . This activity helps students differentiate between area and perimeter and gain a better understanding of linear and square measure.
Activities in this packet:

  • Visualizing Area and Perimeter
  • Measuring Area and Perimeter

12. The Slope Packet uses rubber bands on geoboards to model lines on a coordinate plane. Students determine the slope by counting the rise and run of each line.
Activities in this packet:

  • Exploring Slopes of Lines
  • Slope of a Line Between Two Points


Manipulative Mathematics links:
Manipulative Mathematics Overview

Teacher Training Videos
Links to Virtual Manipulatives


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