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Virtual Manipulatives Used by K-8 Teachers for Mathematics Instruction: The Influence of Mathematical, Cognitive, and Pedagogical Fidelity

, Utah State University, United States ; , George Mason University, United States ; , West Virginia University, United States

CITE Journal Volume 8, Number 3, ISSN 1528-5804 Publisher: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education, Waynesville, NC USA


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.


Moyer, P.S., Salkind, G. & Bolyard, J.J. (2008). Virtual Manipulatives Used by K-8 Teachers for Mathematics Instruction: The Influence of Mathematical, Cognitive, and Pedagogical Fidelity. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 8(3), 202-218. Waynesville, NC USA: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education. Retrieved January 21, 2019 from .


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