Module 1: Understanding and Supporting the Mathematical Learner
Provocation 1c: Learning Tools and Models
Context for Your Inquiry: Manipulatives, natural materials, number lines, paper strips, blocks and technology are all learning tools. And educators are discovering the many ways that they can support and enhance children’s thinking. Indeed, studies show that when children play with objects before they use them, they are often more successful and creative when using them to solve specific problems (Sarama & Clements, 2009). Learning tools help students to build their understanding and model and explain their thinking to others. Over time, they learn to select models and tools that support them in their thinking in specific contexts.