Lesson 9 - Math Techniques for Adult Basic Education (ABE) Learners Illinois State Library

Why do manipulatives help adults learn math?

Remember, math needs to be taught sequentially, beginning with the concrete concepts. Manipulatives are concrete and therefore illustrate the beginning concepts well. Manipulatives like checkers or paper clips will help visual learners see the different pieces that illustrate numbers and how those pieces combine to make a new number. Manipulatives grouped together in sets will help kinesthetic learners handle pieces that illustrate number concepts like multiplication. Manipulatives help learners understand math processes in a hands-on way.