Hands-on Equations at Grace Academy helping students learn algebraic concepts

Teachers say method helps students visualize their math problems

February 26, 2012
  • McKenzie Foster works at the Smartboard at Grace Academy.
McKenzie Foster works at the Smartboard at Grace Academy.

Grace Academy students in grades three to five are using the Hands-On Equations method this year to make learning algebraic concepts easier. 

The instructional system uses game pieces consisting of pawns and numbered cubes, as well as a one-dimensional picture of a balance. 

The use of this hands-on model helps students visualize the equations, and improves understanding and retention.

The staff is also able to utilize its Smartboard technology when instructing with this method. 

As part of its STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) initiatives, Grace Academy is striving to increase students’ problem-solving and reasoning skills in math. 

Using hands-on manipulatives in the primary math program promotes these skills. 

Teachers are taking the abstract and making it concrete and understandable. Success and excitement in math at a primary level promotes confidence when attempting more complex problems.

Students’ reactions to the program have been positive, teachers said.

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