Using Manipulatives to Teach

One of my favorite parts about teaching using the Mother Goose Time curriculum is the manipulatives sent in each box for the kids to play and explore with during an activity.

Last week, we did a math activity using story cards, fish, and blocks (shape and wooden). Before we began the activity, I let the students explore with the manipulatives. They had fun playing with the fish and using the blocks to build a home for their fish. Letting the students explore with materials before doing an activity helps keep the students focused. When they are not able to play with materials before an activity, they are more distracted and want to rush through the activity.


The student in the above picture made a fish home that was tall, medium, and small. This was a concept that we had learned previously. I was so happy to see her applying it in her play time.

The story cards start off easy and gradually get more difficult. The first card has the students counting a certain number of fish. We practiced counting fish. I changed the number a few times from what the story card said and we each took a turn counting the fish.


The next few cards are addition and subtraction. The students practice adding more fish to the group and they practice taking away fish from the group. I love this introduction to addition and subtraction. And I love the visual the students get of physically adding fish or physically taking them away. Math can be tricky, but with manipulatives, math turns into something fun, exciting and maybe even a little easier to understand.


** I receive curriculum from Mother Goose Time for honest and authentic stories resulting from my daily experiences using the curriculum. This is my 3rd year using Mother Goose Time, and I am pleased to promote quality educational learning experiences through play with Mother Goose Time!

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