Paper in Education – Paper Manipulatives for Reading and Math
By Arora Maravich
Educating children in 2021 looks very different than it has in the past. Hard held beliefs regarding hands-on learning and face-to-face interaction have had to be put aside in the name of health and safety. However, children learn best through multisensory learning, and it is especially the young students and those that struggle in school that are being most harmed by the move away from hands-on learning.
The challenge now is to strike the balance between maintaining the health and safety of our students without compromising their academic growth. It is clear that the days of sharing counters, blocks, and phoneme chips are gone. However, ensuring that every student has a personal set of manipulatives is a cost that many schools cannot afford, and even if they could, ensuring that students do not cross-contaminate, lose, or share is a mammoth task. The solution lies in a readily available and affordable resource: paper. Creating cardstock and paper manipulatives offers a solution that is individualized, easily replicable, and disposable. They can also be made sturdier and child-proof through lamination. Paper manipulatives can be personalized and editable to adapt to any grade level and subject matter, and could be used in the tier 1 whole classroom setting, or in tier 2 or 3 small group, one-on-one intervention, and differentiated instruction settings.
Here are some more ideas of manipulatives that can be created using paper and cardstock:
For reading and writing:
- colored squares for spelling and segmenting sounds
- sentence starters
- bookmark checklists for writing
- sorting cards for spelling and syllabic patterns
- writing graphic organizers
- reading comprehension anchor charts
- personal word walls
- Click here for printable phonogram flash cards
- Click here for printable graphic organizers for writing
- colored counters
- place value charts and paper chips
- paper chips for arrays
- fractions manipulatives
- addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division charts
- Click here for printable manipulatives for math
This, of course, is not an exhaustive list. Manipulatives can be made from paper to support students in any subject, in any setting, at any grade level!
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About Arora Maravich
Arora received her undergraduate degree from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ and studied at Duke University Graduate School in NC. She is currently pursuing her Master of Arts in Teaching – Special Education from Relay Graduate School of Education in Wilmington, DE. Arora is certified as a structured literacy/dyslexia interventionist through the Center for Effective Reading and certified at the teaching level through the Reading Assist Intervention Program. Arora has Emergency Certifications as a Middle Level English Language Arts Teacher (Grades 6-8) and an Elementary Teacher (Grades K-6), as well as a Certificate of Eligibility in Special Education Teacher of Students with Disabilities (Grades K-12). Arora currently teaches second grade in Wilmington, DE.