Teachers’ Point of Views about Teaching Mathematics Effectively with Manipulatives
To promote the implementation of manipulatives into mathematics instruction, this research project examined the instructional practices of four grade 9 Applied Mathematics teachers related to their use of manipulatives in teaching mathematics and how it affects students learning. Two instruments were used to collect data: The Teacher Questionnaire and Observation field Notes. The methods were used to collect data on how effectively teachers incorporated manipulatives into their instructional practices, after participating in training and practising their pilot lesson plans over the course of more than twenty weeks, as well as the effect of the use of manipulatives on their students learning. Results showed that the teachers were able to incorporate manipulatives in their daily lesson plans relative to what they practiced while delivering the model lessons. Teachers reported the use of more virtual manipulatives than physical manipulatives after the project. The use of manipulatives in the observed mathematics classrooms had some direct effects on the students learning, in particular, on the struggling students, however, its major effect was on creating an environment that facilitated students learning through different methods of engagement. The learning of mathematics took place through knowledge negotiation among the students.
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