Friday, September 27, 2013

More and More Manipulatives!

One of the things we wanted to do with Explain Everything was create some basic classroom manipulatives. Digitally, it's much harder to loose peices to your tangram and pattern block sets than when you're using physical blocks! Below are links to a score of different manipulatives we've put together. Now that scale and position can be locked invidually, students will be able to do a great deal with the various manipulatives.

Pattern Blocks -
This project contains two slides - one simple set that only has a few peices and then a second with a wider range of peices. Students can lock the relative size of the peices, duplicate them and then go crazy making patters! Possible applications include:
Comparing sizes of angles/side lengths
Measuring the area of various shapes using smaller shapes.

Playing Cards -
While these can't be randomized like regular playing cards, this single slide project contains images of a complete deck. Teachers can use it to create videos to explain an excersize to students or two discuss ways cards can be sorted into groups, (ex; by suit, by colour, by face value) and discuss relationships of probability.

Algebra Tiles -
Like traditional algebra tiles, these images can be used to model all sorts of algebra related problems. Containing ones, X tiles and X squared tiles, teachers and students can model addition, subtraction and multiplication tiles.
Ex: Show me how you would solve 2x + 4 = x + 6

Factor/Probability Trees -
These branching images can be used to show how numbers grow exponentially larger as they are multiplied further. They can also be used to model probability of multiple independent events.
Ex: Model the following proglem - Bob can choose between three kinds of ice cream and four kinds of toppings for his sundae. How many possible sundaes can he create?

Big Bag of Marbles -
While not a perfect representation of randomization (due to the layering affect of Explain Everything's program) this manipulative still provides a fun simulation of real probability. Inside the bag, there are equal numbers of green, red, yellow and blue marbles, but they're all mixed up inside! What are the chances of drawing each colour out of the bag?

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