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Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education






Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education

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This study examined teachers’ uses of virtual manipulatives across grades K-8 after participating in a professional development institute in which manipulatives and technology were the major resources used throughout all of the activities. Researchers analyzed 95 lesson summaries in which classroom teachers described their uses of virtual manipulatives during school mathematics instruction. The findings indicated that the content in a majority of the lessons focused on two National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (2000a) standards: Number & Operations and Geometry. Virtual geoboards, pattern blocks, base-10 blocks, and tangrams were the applets used most often by teachers. The ways teachers used the virtual manipulatives most frequently focused on investigation and skill solidification. It was common for teachers to use the virtual manipulatives alone or to use physical manipulatives first, followed by virtual manipulatives. One important finding of this study was that teachers used the virtual manipulatives during the main portion of their lessons when students were learning mathematics content. These results represent an initial exploration of teachers’ current use of virtual manipulatives in K-8 classrooms.


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