Virtual Manipulatives

The Natioanl Library of Virtual Manipulatives for Interactive Mathematics is a Web site with a large number of Java applets that invite students to explore Mathematics problems. ‘Manipulatives’ is the US term for things like Cuisenaire rods and Dienes blocks.

The Java applets are mapped to the US curriculum based on ‘grades’. I have used the Algebra Balance Scales as a recap on equation solving. Alas, the applet dives into x’s on both sides’ problems – I’d like one that started with x on one side problems (3x + 5 = 17) first.

I use the applets on a projector for a whole class review and then students have the link on the course blog for use at home.

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