This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. See full disclaimer here.
The Hand2mind motto is that children learn best by doing. For over 50 years, teachers and administrators at thousands of schools and districts have relied on their high-quality, hands-on classroom resources (also known as manipulatives) to expand their core curriculum.
What are manipulatives?
Manipulatives are any of various objects or materials that students can touch and move around in order to help them learn mathematical and other concepts.
Since ancient times, people of many different civilizations have used physical objects to help them solve everyday math problems. The ancient Romans modified counting boards to create the world’s first abacus. The Mayans and the Aztecs both had counting devices that featured corn kernels strung on string or wires that were stretched across a wooden frame. In the early 1900s, Italian-born educator Maria Montessori further advanced the idea that manipulatives are important in education. She designed many materials to help preschool and elementary school students discover and learn basic ideas in math and other subjects.
Though there are dozens of different manipulatives that can be used to educate students, the pedagogical basis for using one is the same: first hand interaction with manipulatives helps students understand mathematics. Manipulatives provide concrete ways for students to bring meaning to abstract mathematical ideas. They help students learn new concepts and relate new concepts to what they have already learned. They assist students with solving problems.
When students explore with manipulatives, they have the opportunity to see mathematical relationships. They have tactile and visual models that help develop their understanding. Teachers need to learn how to make use of concrete manipulatives so that students learn the how and why of mathematics concepts. Students’ thinking and reasoning must be the top priorities when they are engaged in learning with manipulatives.
Research has proven that students who are taught using hands-on teaching methods with manipulatives outperform those who are not. It is true for many subjects (e.g. science and literacy) but it is mostly documented in mathematics.
Math is often thought of as a subject that relies on memorization of facts and practicing skills, but the true test of success in mathematics comes when a student must figure out an answer but can’t remember a fact, or has forgotten a skill. Hands-on learning drives authentic understanding and application versus memorization algorithms, or “tricks.” Students who use manipulatives create physical evidence of thinking and reasoning, solve problems, and make sense of mathematical ideas.
Research from both learning theory and classroom studies shows that using manipulatives to help teach math can positively affect student learning. This is true for students at all levels and of all abilities. It is also true for almost every topic covered in elementary school mathematics curricula.
Hand2mind offers a wide variety of manipulatives for Grades K-8, arranged in three product categories: math, science, and literacy classroom resources.
Hand2mind has a huge selection of hands-on math solutions and manipulatives to help teachers develop foundational mathematics concepts and skills. From basic counting and sorting sets, to interactive math tools like NumberLine Clocks and VersaTiles, your students will build their number sense and learn key concepts to establish their math vocabulary. They offer a range of math resource packages for teachers of every grade level that build math fluency through guided math and key skills practice. Hand2mind has engaging and hands-on tools, kits, sets and fun math activities to fully equip your modern classroom for mathematics success!
A comprehensive assortment of science manipulatives to nurture and engage your curious STEM learners! Here you can find interactive science and engineering resources for preschool through high school age students. Introduce core concepts through hands-on quality play with science games and activity sets. Develop creativity and innovation through structured activities and laboratory experiences encompassing biology, botany, chemistry, earth science, physical science, coding, robotics and much more. Find the perfect lab kit, activity set, cart, game or classroom resources to keep your science classroom fully stocked for action!
A nice selection of classroom resources catering for language arts, literature, phonics, reading comprehension, and Spanish language. Turn your students into avid little readers!
Had2mind also offer easy-to-implement solutions for all classroom needs. Supply your classroom with easy-to use, quality materials that foster hands-on learning. The bundled solutions can be used to supplement your current core curriculum or give you a strong base to create your own curriculum. Increase student achievement with hands-on resources designed to give every student opportunities to succeed in the classroom!
These one-stop-shop solutions provide all the classroom resources needed for each hands-on lesson. Standards-aligned lessons and activities are teacher developed and classroom tested. And each lesson provides differentiation options to reach students on all levels.
Learning at home solutions
As a company whose mission is to support teachers, inspire students, engage parents and champion learning by doing, Hand2mind offers resources that help the learning continue at home. From downloadable lessons and virtual manipulatives to a range of self-checking activity books, Hand2mind offers engaging ways to support learning Math, Science, Literacy and more.
Each Take-home kit includes essential manipulatives and a guide for getting started. Independent practice activity books for Math and Literacy are provided. The benefits for students and parents are many:
- Engaging, screen-free alternative to support kids at home.
- Self-checking answer system creates a safe learning environment that increases confidence.
- Aligned to state and national standards to support what is being taught in school.
- Activity Books available in a variety of subjects and grade levels.
Let your students experience math, science and literacy hands-on!
Added bonus: get exclusive offers, news, and discounts on teaching resources