Do you know how you would answer this teacher interview question: What types of math manipulatives do you use? How do they impact your classroom?
It is important that the response you give to the job interview question is truthful, relevant to the position, and shows value to the school district. The following could be a possible answer, or it may provide some ideas for you to tailor your response:
I use a wide variety of both concrete math manipulatives and virtual manipulatives in my mathematics classroom. I continuously strive to ensure math is relevant to my students to engage the learner and help them achieve academic success.
The manipulatives include attribute blocks, geometric shapes of different colors and sizes to use in classification or patterning tasks; plastic counting cubes for solving simple addition and subtraction equations; base ten blocks for representing and performing operations on multi-digit numbers, such as 321 + 104; and fraction pieces, to represent different fractional concepts and relationships.
Math manipulatives are extremely effective in developing a conceptual understanding of math. For example, an understanding of basic number concepts, such as being able accurately to count objects, should precede learning written numerals; an understanding of the meaning of multiplication should precede memorizing multiplication tables. Focused assessments should distinguish whether children are struggling with concepts or other math skills, such as the automatic recall of facts.
Develop students’ conceptual understanding through the use of visual or pictorial representations and concrete manipulatives. Computer-based “virtual” math manipulatives are also increasingly helpful.
Struggling students, including those with learning disabilities, are consistently found to benefit from explicit and systematic instruction. Important math concepts and skills should be directly and clearly taught; the instruction sequence should emphasize prerequisite skills before higher-level skills. Sufficient practice opportunities are needed for children to develop automaticity with new skills.
Do you need help preparing for your next teacher interview?