The use of concrete manipulatives in third grade special education and student achievement.
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SubjectManipulatives (Education).; Mathematics -- Study and teaching (Elementary).; Special education teachers -- Training of
This action research project was designed to examine the effects of student achievement using concrete manipulatives versus traditional lecture style teaching in mathematics education. A fraction tile set of manipulatives was used to study individual’s achievement of mathematical understanding. While substantial evidence exists to support the empirical foundations of this approach, very little, if any, systematic research has been conducted on its impact on student earning. This project, therefore, examined the effects of concrete manipulatives on the acquisition and retention of new knowledge by 5 third grade special education students. The effects of concrete manipulatives were compared to a more traditional didactic teaching approach. Results suggested that concrete manipulatives were more effective than that of the traditional lecture style. Students were compared to themselves in terms of scores, mean and percent change. An identical paper and pencil pretest and post test was given before and after both interventions. The findings showed that all students improved from the baseline data to the post test scores. Students' mathematical achievement was positively impacted when students used concrete manipulatives during the equivalent fraction unit.
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