# Counting Blocks or Keyboards A Comparative Analysis of Concrete versus Virtual Manipulatives in Elementary School Mathematics Concepts

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This study was designed to investigate the impact of using computer-simulated (virtual ) manipulatives and hands-on (concrete) manipulatives on elementary students' learning skills and concepts in equivalent fractions. The researcher's primary interest was whether or not students who used virtual manipulatives would out-perform students who used concrete manipulatives on the researcher/teacher-generated posttest. A secondary interest for the researcher was students' attitudes about using manipulatives in the mathematics classroom. The research sample consisted of 48 sixth-grade urban public school students. There were two treatment groups. Group A consisted of students who received equivalent fraction instruction with the use of virtual manipulatives. Group B, the control group, received equivalent fraction instruction with the use of concrete manipulatives. The researcher issued a pretest to both groups, prior to manipulative use and instruction. Following manipulative use and instruction, the researcher issued a posttest. The researcher also issued a students' attitudes survey at the end of the study. To analyze the data generated by the pre and posttests, the researcher used a two-sample, paired-data t-test with a confidence level of 0.05. After studying the results of the t-test, the researcher concluded that students who received equivalent fraction instruction with concrete manipulatives out-performed students who received equivalent fraction instruction with virtual manipulatives. The researcher also concluded that the use of manipulatives, both virtual and concrete, enhanced the learning environment in the elementary mathematics classroom. Appended are: (1) Informed Consent Form; (2) Parental Acknowledgement and Consent; (3) Mathematics Pretest; (4) Mathematics Posttest; (5) Students' Attitudes Survey; and (6) List of Manipulatives Used. (Contains 4 tables and 12 figures.)

Descriptors: Computer Simulation, Teaching Methods, Student Motivation, Urban Schools, Public Schools, Grade 6, Elementary School Mathematics, Student Attitudes, Pretests Posttests, Comparative Analysis, Manipulative Materials, Computer Uses in Education, Mathematical Concepts

Autor: Brown, Sonya E.

Fuente: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=3434&id=ED499231