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Math Manipulatives & tools


Audio Learning

Recommended Resource

Using Geoboards

by Beverly S. Krueger

Geoboards are great math manipulative to have on hand for long car rides, trips to the dentist or other times when young children need something to keep them occupied. Kids love to play with geoboards and a package of rubber bands. Don't limit that geoboard to your preschooler though. There are many ways to use geoboards to teach math concepts. Here are a couple of ideas from our Geometry Unit Study. Pop down to the resource list to find online lesson plans, virtual geoboards, and places to get your own geoboard and geoboard activity resources. Don't forget to stop by our download page to get our Dot Paper 10 x 10 Geoboard sheet.

Geoboard Activities

  • Using a geoboard try to make a shape that has more sides than angles. Try to make a shape that has more angles than sides. Can it be done?
  • Use your geoboards to make the following shapes: polygon, triangle, square, rectangle, quadrilateral, pentagon, and hexagon. How would you show a line segment on a geoboard?

Online Geoboard Resources

  • Investigating the Concept of Triangle and the Properties of Polygons
  • Geometry and the Geoboard
    This sixth grade math lesson plan helps students visualize the concepts of squares, rectangles, triangles and polygons and explore line segments, areas, and perimeters.
  • Geoboard Activities
    Three mathematical activites that require geoboards.
  • Geo-Math Board
    4th and 5th grade geometry math activities using geoboards.
  • Geoboards in the Classroom
    "This unit deals with the length and area of two-dimensional geometric figures using the geoboard as a pedagogical device. Even though your students may have already seen some of this material, it is still likely that many of them have only a superficial understanding of length and area. It's quite amazing, for example, how many students have trouble distinguishing between perimeter and area - even secondary students confuse the two.
    A typical student's understanding of units is even more problematic. Ask your students to describe a square inch, for example. It's unfortunate, but true, that many write "in2" without really understanding what it means. But with a geoboard, a student can see the area of a rectangle, say, and will readily count the square units making up such a geometric figure. Indeed, "square unit" takes on a whole new meaning with the geoboard."
  • Virtual Manipulative Geoboard
    Using the virtual geoboard kids can solve a variety of geoboard problems.
    Grades 3-5
    Grades 6-8
    Grades 9-12
  • Virtual Isometric Geoboard
    Grades PreK-2
    Grades 3-5
    Grades 6-8
    Grades 9-12
  • Circular Geoboard
    Grades 3-5
    Grades 6-8
    Grades 9-12
  • Coordinate Geoboard
    Grades 3-5
    Grades 6-8
    Grades 9-12
  • Toying with the Geoboard
    To better appreciate the power of Pick's theorem try answering a few questions below without invoking the theorem. The questions are posed for the geoboard. Learn more about Pick's theorem at
  • Activity 3, The Geoboard
    Activities for older students using geoboards.
  • Blackline master of a Circular Geoboard [adobe pdf]
  • Walking the Archimedean Walk [adobe pdf]
    Retrace Archimedes footsteps as he works out a method for determining teh value of pi. Requires a circular geoboard or circular geoboard dot paper.
  • Dot Paper-10 x 10 GeoboardPaper

Resources to Purchase

The Super Source Geoboards: Grades K-2
by Cuisenaire Publications
Eighteen activities in each book help you and your students explore sorting, symmetry, counting, angles, and more.
More Info
The Super Source Geoboards: Grades 3-4
by Cuisenaire Publications
More Info
The Super Source Geoboards: Grades 5-6
More Info

Pythagoras' Bow Tie: Pre-Algebra Investigations Using the 11 X 11 Geoboard
by Ron Ritchhart
The study of area provides a gateway to develop middle school students’ understanding of and thinking about geometry, measurement, data collections, algebraic formulas, and rational and irrational numbers. There are 18 investigations, with extensions and games that provide full teacher support. Some of the investigations can be used for performance assessment. 136 pages. Grades 5–9.

More Info

Cuisenaire offers a Patter Block Geoboard with a 10 x 10-pin isometric array on one side, enabling children to loop actual-size geometric Pattern Blocks shapes. On the reverse, an 11 x 11-pin coordinate grid can be used for plotting, map skills practice, and graphing. It sells for $4.95. They offer a Double Sided Geoboard with a 5x5 pin grid with coordinates. On the reverse is a 12-pin Geocircle that includes radius and diameter pegs. It sells for $2.95. A complete listing of geoboards and geoboard resources can be found at the Cuisenaire Geoboard page.

McGraw Hill offers Geoboard Activity Sheets. These 23 blackline masters teach students to locate points, change figures, create symmetry, and measure area. Available for $8.99. geoboard-activity_sheets_book.jpg
They also offer Geoboard Pictures for Little Kids. Children will develop their fine motor and visual discrimination skills as they copy these 16 adorable pictures on the included 5 x 5 pin plastic geoboard. Includes eight colorful two-sided picture cards, each 8" x 8" (20.5 x 20.5cm), one plastic geoboard, and over 400 rubber bands. The set sells for $12.99.

They also offer two books titled Math Discoveries with Geoboards, one for Kindergarten and 1st grade, the other for 2nd and 3rd grades. Students will discover how shapes are alike and different, how shapes can be subdivided or changed into other shapes, and the relationship between sides and angles. They will explore congruency, symmetry, area, and perimeter.The hands-on activities actively engage students in doing mathematics, which is emphasized by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). This book contains 40 reproducible student activities, two investigations,a game, award certificates, and sample solutions.Each sells for $7.99. K-1st, 2nd &3rd

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