In order to be classified as evidence-based,
an instructional program or practices must be tested and have a record
of success. Reading Manipulatives products have been created by teachers,
tested over many years, and they meet NCLB
standards. Students who used them have made remarkable progress, developed
self-esteem, improved their organization and accountability, and cultivated
a greater enjoyment of reading and writing. The following characteristics,
which are predicated by findings of educational and brain research, are
fundamental design and content principles of the manipulatives.
children and adults of today are action-oriented; consequently, tactile
modalities are now dominant for all ages, not just children. Data from
millions of Myers-Briggs style tests shows that 70 percent of Americans
are sensing types who learn best with hands-on, experiential materials
that proceed in a step-to-step manner. For this reason, manipulatives
that build literacy skills are extremely effective and result in students
staying on task.
For many students, removing written responses reduces risk and stress,
which often cause diminished performance. Studies confirm that an atmosphere
combining low threat with significant challenge is most conducive to learning,
making multilevel materials optimal. Grade-level designations are not
attached to Reading Manipulatives products because students should be
offered whatever they are capable of accomplishing.
Manipulatives utilize natural approaches for developing many reading skills,
such as sequencing or blending. Since activities are intuitive, cumbersome
directions are eliminated.
Fragmented instruction inhibits learning, and this is the major problem
with workbooks and worksheets. Reading Manipulatives products employ holistic
methodology, covering the entire scope of each literacy skill. Additionally,
the plentiful practice leads to mastery.
A lab-like setting where students have choices is remarkably effective.
Active involvement builds accountability. Once students are taught the
skills and introduced to the sets of manipulatives, in most cases they
are able to select, complete, correct, and record activities. They are
highly motivated to work through the sets and achieve superior results.
The visible nature of manipulatives encourages interaction. Students naturally
assist one another. Tutors have greater confidence as they learn about
the skills and their students. Opportunities for expanding language abound.