## MathsBot’s Manipulatives

MathsBot is a recent discovery of mine which has a few great tools aimed at older maths learners – on loading, it displays resources for GCSE pupils, for example.

However, it also has a section of online manipulatives which are great to use in the Primary classroom – particularly one which may be lacking somewhat in concrete resources.

Now, I know that online and virtual pictorial representations are no substitute for hands on experience, but they still have a place in the classroom.

Right now, there are 12 available:

• algebra tiles
• bar modelling
• counters
• counting stick
• Cuisenaire rods
• Dienes blocks
• fraction wall
• geoboard
• number frame
• pentominoes
• place value counters
• unit box

Of those, a handy way to create place value counters and Dienes blocks, will prove invaluable to me.

## ITPs for modern times

Old folk like me will probably remember the National Numeracy Strategy (NNS) Interactive Teaching Programmes (ITPs) – some of which were great and some of which were horrible.

It turns out, they were great tools to show loads of mathematical ideas on whiteboards – but because they were made in the late 90s, and in Flash, lots of them no longer work.

Ted Burch of mathsframe.co.uk has very kindly remade them all in html5 but retained their original look.

The reworked programmes should work on tablets and most modern devices.

I’m not quite sure why I’ve never thought of this before now, but… using sticky notes to highlight the partitioning of a number after an addition to show how to deal with numbers larger than 9 is a complete revelation to me!

This idea (and associated images below) is from The Classroom Key.

Show students how to add up the numbers in the ones column and write the answer on a sticky note.  In the beginning, it is probably worth labelling the left side of the note “tens” and the right side “ones.”

Use a pair of scissors to cut the note in half vertically.

Put the “tens” half of the note on top of the tens column.  Put the “ones” half underneath the ones column.  Add up all the numbers in the tens column and there’s the answer!

I will certainly be using this with my pupils in future when introducing this concept. I’d love to hear how you get on if you try it too.