Visual mathematics and well-chosen manipulatives aid students of ALL ages. They promote deeper understanding and increased activity in the learning center of our brains.
For one class period, choose a challenging problem from your curriculum. The Symphony Guided Practice Materials can provide a nice starting point for suggested word problems and/or other modeling tasks. Give students manipulatives and have them construct models as part of their solution. You can use unifix cubes, counters, or even paper and pencil to contstruct grids or number lines.
After students have time to talk, build, and explore, discuss their models and conclusions with the class. We recommend you model this activity first, relying on Symphony Math examples, with your whole class.