Hands on in Mathematics

“Manipulatives are concrete objects that can be viewed and physically handled by students in order to demonstrate or model abstract concepts.

Students who are presented with the opportunity to use manipulatives report that they are more interested in mathematics. Long-term interest in mathematics translates to increased mathematical ability (Sutton & Krueger, 2002).”

In late 2021 we fundraised to buy new mathematics equipment to use across the school with our school fun run. Our aim is  to have more practical equipment we can use in our classrooms. We wanted sets of equipment much like the sets of science equipment we get from the House of Science.  In boxes, ready to use.

Finally, it is here and ready to use. Using the compasses to make circes, matching shapes and comparing the weights of objects in our classrooms.

Teachers use targeted group teaching, modelling books and our new equipment to introduce students to new mathematical concepts in authentic ways.



This new maths equipment can be used across many different mathematical concepts.

Room 9 used compasses to explore scales and mapping, as well as illustrate translation of shapes.




We discovered early on that using a compass required quite specific fine motor skills and we needed to practise to be able to both measure distance using a compass and to draw a circle accurately. Many attempts were made before the students mastered the skills needed.





At first it was hard to hold it on the paper and keep it balanced but the more I practised the easier it got. Eva

Students enjoy being able to touch, move and manipulate the equipment to share their ideas and achieve success in mathematics. 

“Concrete materials, coupled with good teaching practice and strong teacher content knowledge, provide opportunities for learners to construct rich understandings of mathematical concepts.” (Attard, 2018)



Using the shapes made it easier to count the corners, vertices and faces because we could move the shapes around to see how many there were. Leah

Keywords:  Mathematics, NZMaths

2022 foley maths 12