Eleven teachers from one secondary school and ten primary schools who attended a one week workshop in wooden manipulatives at the St. Leonard’s Boys Secondary School are now better equipped to pass on concepts to their students who are more interested in practical concepts of learning.
In an interview with a team from Barbados TODAY, Sandra Boyce, of the Media Resource Department of the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, said the over 40 pieces of wooden manipulatives were created by the teachers and can be used in the classroom to assist some students.
The wooden manipulatives were in different areas, ranging from mathematics dealing with concepts like addition and subtraction to language arts and visual discrimination.
Boyce said for the younger students there were manipulative pieces that taught them motor skills such as being able to tie laces and stacking puzzles with visual discrimination as well as being able to recognise shapes and colours.
On display today was a wooden manipulative of a human body that would allow students to recognise body parts and a wooden clock featuring both digital and analogue readings.
The teachers also had on display a few music pieces designed to allow young students to be able to recognise music notes and the names of the notes.
On display was a game that replicates snakes and ladders but using mathematical concepts, plus a fractions manipulative where the students could actually see the visual representations of whole, half, quarter and eighths.
Commenting on the importance of the course to the progress of some students, Alicia Cox, a teacher at Half Moon Fort Primary School said it would be very useful and the children always appreciate anything they could manipulate since they make better progress when they see what they were doing.
Cox encouraged teachers to pursue the course because it was very informative, practical, hands on and a great benefit to her as a teacher. (NC)