Manipulatives Make Math Meaningful! (say that 3 times fast!)

Several months ago at the TED Conference I received a $100 certificate to Donor’s Choose to help fund a project for a school community in need.

With so many worthy projects to consider, I ultimately settled on one called Problem Solving Produces Productive Citizens.  This 3rd grade teacher in a high poverty community in rural Kansas was looking for manipulatives, puzzles, and games to give her young learners hands-on math experiences.  Her description of the ways in which she sees hands-on learning translate to invaluable life-long thinking critical thinking and problem solving skills resonates so strongly with me and the work I do at ThinkFun!

Ms. Sutton writes, “Kids who can solve problems grow up to be adults who can solve problems and choose their destiny. The resources that I am requesting (manipulatives, puzzles, money, etc.) will provide with hands-on practice during rotating center time to develop this ability, empowering my students to thrive in the real world, confidently looking within themselves for answers rather than to me or other authority figures. Such students can and will shape their own futures.

Problem solving is a hard concept for children to grasp. If children can be presented problem solving activities in an hands-on daily approach, then it will allow them to work through everyday problems and internalize the skills they need to use to do this regularly.”

Clearly this project struck a chord with several other donors as well, and I’m thrilled to see it was fully funded and then some!  I recently received photos and a Thank You package from Ms. Sutton’s grateful 3rd graders and wanted to share a few of their sweet notes!

Thanks to Donor’s Choose for helping bring problem solving to life – and to TED for the funds to donate!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>