One of the most important uses of manipulatives in a classroom is to aid a learner to make connection from tangible concrete object to its abstraction. In this paper we discuss how teacher educators can foster deeper understanding of how manipulatives facilitate student learning of math concepts by emphasizing the connection between concrete objects and math symbolization with, preservice elementary teachers, the future implementers of knowledge. We provide an example and a model, with specific steps of how teacher educators can effectively demonstrate connections between concrete objects and abstract math concepts.
Kamina, Penina and Iyer, Nithya N., "From Concrete to Abstract: Teaching for Transfer of Learning when Using Manipulatives" (2009). NERA Conference Proceedings 2009. Paper 6.