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6th-8th Grade Math: Practice & Review55 chapters | 469 lessons

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Lesson Transcript

Instructor:
*Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer*

Amy has a master's degree in secondary education and has taught math at a public charter high school.

After watching this video lesson, you will see what a math manipulative is, how you can use almost anything as a math manipulative, and how you can use these manipulatives to help you solve word problems.

In this video lesson, you will see how you can use math manipulatives to help you solve word problems. A **math manipulative** is any real object that you can use as a visual aid and tangible item to help you solve math problems. For example, when you use marbles to count, the marble becomes your math manipulative. Toothpicks can also become math manipulatives when used to keep count of scores when playing a game.

Anything you can get your hands on become a math manipulative when used to help you answer math problems. They are especially useful when working with word problems. Let's see how easy they are to use to solve a problem such as this:

Sally brings a large pepperoni pizza to her friend's house to share. She cuts it into 16 slices. Sally and her friends manage to eat 11 of the slices. How much of the pizza is left? Please write the answer in fraction form.

What kind of a math manipulative can you use to help you solve your problem? Well, you could use a real pepperoni pizza or you could use a piece of cardboard cut into a circle and then sliced into 16 slices. How would you use this math manipulative to help you solve the problem?

If you are using a real pepperoni pizza, you can recruit yourself and some friends to help you actually eat 11 pizza slices. If you are using the pretend cardboard pizza, then you can take 11 slices out of the pizza. Now, to finish the problem, you can count how many pizza slices are left. You count 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. There are 5 pizza slices left.

To answer the question, you write the 5 on top of the 16. The 5 represents what is left of the pizza and the 16 represents the whole pizza. So, 5/16 represents how much of the pizza is left as a fraction.

Let's look at another problem:

Harry is fishing in his pond. Just yesterday, he put 20 catfish into his pond. Today, he manages to fish out 5 of the catfish. Sam, Harry's friend, is also fishing from the same pond. Sam managed to catch 7 of the fish. How many fish are left in the pond?

For this problem, you can use little goldfish crackers to represent the fish. So, you begin with 20 of the little fish crackers. You can draw a pond on a piece of paper and put the fish in there. Then, you can start fishing them out one by one.

First, fish out 5 of the crackers and put them in a little bucket for Harry. Next, fish out 7 more crackers and put them in a bucket for Sam. Now, count how many fish crackers are left in the pond. 8 are left, so 8 is your answer.

What have you learned? A **math manipulative** is any real object that you can use as a visual aid and tangible item to help you solve math problems. You can use almost anything around you as a math manipulative, even food. But, perhaps using food may be too distracting.

To use the math manipulative to help you solve your problem, you make your math manipulative represent the items in your problem, and then you take away or add pieces of your math manipulative so that you can see what is going on visually. At the end, all you have to do is to count what is in front of you.

After you have finished, you should be able to:

- Recall what a math manipulative is and what it is used for
- Select and use a math manipulative to help you solve a math problem

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6th-8th Grade Math: Practice & Review55 chapters | 469 lessons

- Solving Word Problems: Steps & Examples 5:54
- Solving Word Problems with Multiple Steps 5:30
- Restating Word Problems Using Words or Images 4:32
- Personalizing a Word Problem to Increase Understanding 4:50
- How to Use Math Manipulatives to Answer Word Problems 3:28
- How to Use Scatter Plots to Solve Word Problems 5:15
- Solving Word Problems with Algebraic Addition Expressions 3:56
- Solving Word Problems with Algebraic Subtraction Expressions 4:44
- Solving Word Problems with Algebraic Multiplication Expressions 3:38
- Solving Word Problems with Algebraic Division Expressions 2:54
- Go to 6th-8th Grade Math: Solving Math Word Problems

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