This is the final in a series of seven posts sharing reasons virtual manipulatives should be the cornerstone of interactive content in the classroom including specific practical examples.  (The previous posts can be viewed here:  Part 1-VisualizingPart 2-Explore Difficult ConceptsPart 3-Access Materials/Added ValuePart 4- Inquiry LearningPart 5 – A New Way to Present, Part 6 – Demonstrate Understanding)

We know that engaged students learn more, so let’s face it—a large amount of our planning time is spent figuring out ways to interest and engage students in learning.  With that in mind, one of the reasons for using virtual manipulatives is simply to gain student attention.  Some students get excited about using technology and will buy into an activity simply because it is displayed on an interactive whiteboard or computer screen.

Below are four manipulatives that can be used to gain student interest.

foam Foam Phonemes

Shoot letters and word parts into the air. Then, create words in the sky with what you have chosen.


bubbleBubble Trouble

Count the bubbles!


deckDeck Chairs Symmetry

Create a pattern on the deck chair. Then, check to see if it is symmetrical.


splatSplat Square

Splat this number grid to show factors and multiples.

All of the activities shared in this seven part series could fall under several of the reasons we have explained because there are many simultaneous benefits to using virtual manipulatives in your classroom.

Please let us know how these posts have contributed to your thinking about virtual manipulatives in the comments below!

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