To reach higher levels of learning, research shows that students need opportunities to “explore, design and create.” In mathematics specifically, this means allowing students to create their own strategies for representing mathematical relationships within the tasks they’re working on.
In a typical classroom setting, teachers often grab bins of manipulatives and let their students investigate and discover these relationships in a tactile way. Using this approach, students learn how to explore mathematics, develop flexibility in their thinking, and discover and create their own number sense. Teachers ask students to use concrete manipulatives before asking them to show their ideas with diagrams, number lines, pictures, etc. In older grades, representations become tables, graphs, charts, and formulas.
How can we foster deep hands-on learning in a remote environment?
Teachers need technologies that provide students with a virtual “math playground” to explore, discover and create. That’s why Exemplars is so excited to be partnering with Brainingcamp! Through its suite of engaging virtual manipulatives, Brainingcamp provides students with numerous options to explore and create their own mathematical understanding. Once students have grasped a general understanding of the new math concept they’re working collaboratively to develop, they will be far more prepared to internalize the big math ideas you are working toward.
Brainingcamp’s virtual manipulatives may be used in conjunction with Exemplars problem-solving performance tasks to provide students with opportunities for deep math learning. Teachers may use the Brainingcamp manipulatives for instructional purposes both in the classroom or remotely using platforms such as Zoom or Google Meet.
Special Offer - Try Brainingcamp FREE!
As part of a special offer, Brainingcamp has provided all Exemplars Math Library subscribers with complimentary access to its platform of virtual manipulatives through October 31, 2020. Individual teachers may start a classroom trial or an entire school may sign up. Activate it by simply going to Brainingcamp.com/redeem and following these instructions:
For an individual classroom license:
- Enter code: EXEMPLARSCLASS and submit
- Click: Redeem
For a full-school license:
- Enter Code: EXEMPLARSSCHOOL and submit
- Click: Redeem
Once you and your students are comfortable using this valuable resource, Brainingcamp can extend a 15% discount to your school for continued access for the rest of the year. Contact us to learn more or watch this video to learn how to sign up.
Pro Tip: Try This Strategy for Using Virtual Manipulatives With Your Students!
A powerful strategy for using the Brainingcamp manipulatives is to ask students to try and use as many different manipulatives as possible to solve one problem. For example, a third-grade teacher might ask students how they could use the base-10 blocks, color tiles, a hundreds board, and number lines to show 6 groups of 5. Have students work in breakout rooms to prepare their visual for showing their thinking. How do the different solution strategies connect? How are they different?
Spend time allowing your students to explore, play and develop their own ways of showing their thinking. This process will excite students and open them up to the wide variety of possibilities, leading to flexible thinking and a powerful number sense.