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    Manipulatives
    By LCteacher

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    I am currently in my junior year studying Elementary Education. In my Methods of Teaching Mathematics class, we just talked about strategies on teaching flips, slides and turns. The teacher grouped us into pairs and gave each of us 5 blocks. She told us to arrange the blocks in as many ways as we could to find how many possible ways 5 blocks could be arranged (not focusing on order, such as red, blue, pink, yellow, purple). One way obviously was to have all the blocks in one line and another way was to have four in a line and with one on the end (L shape). She took a constructivist approach by not giving us any directions, only telling us that they had to be touching on one side (not two corners of the blocks touching). We figured out that an L shape constitutes as 1 way, regardless of how it's flipped. This was an interesting way to get us thinking about similarities of shapes (focusing on flips, slides and turns). Hope this helps! I feel manipulatives often elucidate mathematical confusion for students.

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