Promoting Mathematical Connections Using Three-Dimensional Manipulatives

  • Promoting Mathematical Connections Using Three-Dimensional Manipulatives

    Farshid Safi and Siddhi Desai
    Principles to Actions: Ensuring Mathematical Success for All (NCTM 2014) gives teachers access to an insightful, research-informed framework that outlines ways to promote reasoning and sense making. Specifically, as students transition on their mathematical journey through middle school and beyond, their knowledge and use of representations should continually develop in complexity and scope. “[Students] will need to be able to convert flexibly among these representations. Much of the power of mathematics comes from being able to view and operate on objects from different perspectives” (NCTM 2000, p. 361). In fact, when students represent, discuss, and make connections among different mathematical ideas by using different methods, they engage in deeper sense making and improve their problem-solving skills while refining their mathematical understanding (Fuson, Kalchman, and Bransford 2005; Lesh, Post, and Behr 1987).