Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday Manipulatives: Averaging with Unifix Cubes

When asked, "Do you own math manipulatives?" many people confidently nod.

But when the conversation continues with, "How do you use math manipulatives?" the reply often ranges from "Ummm, they mostly sit on the shelf," to "The kids play with them. Sometimes."

A new feature, "Monday Manipulatives," is dedicated to dusting off those manipulatives and considering fresh, new ways to teach math.

Please join me this week in "Averaging with Unifix Cubes."** I hope you find your own unifix cubes and try it with the kids!

Note: Due to video time limitations I could not show multiple ways to level the towers. When you work with children, however, I encourage you to help kids understand the idea of averaging by giving them 2 stacks, and then 3 stacks of cubes, and asking them to devise methods to level the towers.

Part 1:

Part 2:

**This averaging model is introduced and explored in more depth in "Measurement with Marbles" by the Math Learning Center.
Check out what Risa did with the lessons on Averaging with Unifix Cubes. Awesome! :)

Thank you, Risa, for alerting me to your blog! If anyone else is applying a lesson, I'd love to see your work. :)


  1. I followed your link from the Living Math Forum. Did I hit the jackpot! I just subscribed to your blog, so now I can get every "Monday Manipulatives" post right away. Thank you!

  2. I love what you're doing here! Thanks.

  3. Thanks for the videos! We built a math lesson / activity around them on my blog at educating risa (all one word) dot com.

  4. Risa, that's awesome! I love your blog. Thank you so much for alerting me to it!

  5. What a great way to teach averaging and also use those unifix cubes that are just sitting around my shelf!


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