Date of Award

Spring 4-29-2016

Document Type

Education 530 Project

Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Gentry, Roberta

Major or Concentration

Elementary Education


Studies show that manipulatives help students grasp concepts that are abstract because it gives them a concrete idea of the concept, (Jao, 2013). Manipulatives are defined as, "a mathematics manipulative material is an object that can be handled by an individual in a sensory manner during which conscious and unconscious mathematical thinking will be fostered" (Swann & Marshall, 2010, p. 14). However, there is a dearth of research on the effectiveness of manipulatives. The research on manipulatives studies mainly upper elementary and middle school students. Also, the majority of the research is made up of teacher's observations instead of quantitative research that used statistical analysis to explore the effectiveness of manipulatives. Lastly, research shows that many teachers believe that they cannot implement manipulatives effectively while following the guidelines of the Common Core. This study explored the effectiveness of manipulatives while teaching fractions. The research in this study explored the effectiveness by dividing a second grade class into two groups; one group will be taught with manipulatives and the other group will be taught without manipulatives. Data was collected in forms of pretests and posttests and was analyzed to find the effectiveness of manipulatives. The results showed that manipulatives can be effective as well as ineffective.

Included in

Education Commons