# Why Is A Manipulative?

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A manipulative is often used in many ways to teach mathematics such as basic addition, fractions, decimals, order of operations. To name a few manipulatives; blocks, cards, number tiles, counting tubes, etc…A manipulative can be taught either concrete (hands-on) or virtual. Hands-on manipulative models are physical objects such as base-ten blocks, deck of cards, Dice games, and Algebra tiles. A virtual manipulative is a technology that models the existing manipulatives such as base ten blocks, rulers, fractions bars and algebra tiles to name a few. These manipulatives are in the form of Java or Flash applets, a web base technology. Normal playing cards have so many uses in teaching mathematical lessons. When teaching your students how to add, subtract, sort, compute or compare numbers, using a deck of cards gets the students working with numbers while playing a game. There are two advantages of using a deck of cards as a hands-on manipulative: First advantage; cards are inexpensive, can be easily put away. Second advantage; the cards can be used as independent practice or cooperative learning. During cooperative learning the students become involved & they are able to practice the edification adeptness such as multiplication games, fractions, percentages and decimals. There are two disadvantages of using a deck of cards as a hands-on manipulative; often students end up dropping things on the floor which becomes a disadvantage because you spend time making sure