Math Manipulatives


In order to accommodate Safiyya’s learning style, I have decided to use more math manipulatives during our math sessions. Math manipulatives are things like beads, sticks, legos, building blocks, marbles, matching/sequencing/flashcards. In a nutshell, they are both visual and touch-and-feel items that are used to grasp math concepts. These are ideal for children who are kinaesthetic learners. I have taught numbers/colors/shapes/repeating patterns etc using math manipulatives to both of my daughters. But Sumayya was ok with math worksheets, workbooks and me explaining concepts and occasionally doing math manipulative activity. Safiyya, on the other hand, requires more actively engaging activities, SubhanAllah so different :)

Currently they both have workbooks from  Autumn Childrens Books. In addition we are doing addition time tables with popsicle sticks. I remember sometime ago Sumayya was able to add and substract numbers 0-20. Then we were not practising substraction/addition as much. She is confident with addition problems using numbers 0-10 and she can add them up mentally or starts using fingers whenever she is stuck in her head. Currently we are doing one more/two more/three more/four more addition timetables using all the numbers 0-20.  If the added sum is more than 10 I invite her to use popsicle sticks and she can add any number using them. Then she records all that she did in her math notebook

She also uses some technique in order to avoid using popsicle sticks for larger numbers. For example to solve the addition problem 9+7, she first identifies smaller number, in this case 7. Then she shows up 7 fingers. Finally, she counts her fingers from 9 onwards, folding down one finger at a time. So, from 9 she counts all her fingers down 10,11,12,13,14.15 and 16. She was confused when the 2nd numbers is more than her fingers, as in 6+11. Then I said it would be the same as 11+6, explained the rule “a+b=b+a”. 

I was looking for more math manipulative activities relevant to their age. Alhamdulillah, I didn’t have to go far lol. I was inspired by my dear friend at Islomiy oila to do this comparison and odd/even numbers activities. Alhamdulillah, kids enjoyed both activities so much.
After I explained more/less comparison math activity to Safiyya, she was doing it again and again using different beads and recording all she did in math notebook

Then we did the following odd/even numbers activity. Sumayya understood the concept off odd/even numbers quickly and could easily identify all the odd/even numbers 0-20. Then I said to her for larger numbers she can use the following method: for example if I ask 28, odd or even. She has to look at the last number which is 20 and 8, 8 is even so 28 is also even. 29, number 9 is odd so 29 is also odd. InshaAllah I am planning to do Odd/Even street activity soon and also ask kids to notice the odd/even door numbers when we are out walking.

NEXT STEPS:  InshaAllah I am planning to do more addition timetables using beads/blocks for larger sums with Sumayya. I am also planning to teach her to count by 2’s (2, 4, 6, 8 etc) and by 3’s, by 4’s and by 5’s. These would help her to solve addition problems mentally, baby steps towards mental math inshaAllah. Then start doing one less/two less/three less substraction activities once she is confident in addition. And start teaching Safiyya to solve easy addition problems using her fingers as well as doing MEP Reception level.


2 thoughts on “Math Manipulatives

    • I was doing it initially but I think the beginning was too easy. She was not as much interested so we stopped after abour 3 lessons. Doin MEP Reception with Safiyya tho, will continue with Sumayya too inshaAllah.


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