MUS Manipulatives

We are finishing up our 1st half year of Math and are thinking we need something different. I really like the “active/visual” aspect of Math U See and our daughter liked the sample video. We are a family on a very tight budget, so cost is a factor. Would we be able to get by without the manipulatives at first, until we can budget it in? So meaning, would we be able to get by with just the workbook and DVD and then use legos or Cuisenaire Rods for temporary use, then when finances allow buy the block kit? Or even, have any of you don’t MUS without the blocks?

I would try to make paper blocks in the same colors with lines for the squares to ease confusion with the curriculum, I think having the same colors as in the video for the different numbers is helpful. We love Math U See, one daughter uses the manipulatives heavily, the other prefers not to unless she needs them, but does still need them. The videos are great. They did also have an app that you could use that had virtual blocks. I think it was a pay app but still cheaper than actual blocks. If you needed to get by without a workbook for a while, they have a worksheet generator under parent resources on their website. It doesn’t have all lessons, but might get you through for a little while on just the videos.

1 Like

Our girl is not one too much to use manipulatives, ever really, she doesnt like them, but she likes the video aspect of learning math. So i was just curious how important the blocks were…never thought of making them out of the same colored paper though…its not like we wpuldnt ever buy them, we would, but if its possible to supplement until we can buy them

If she isn’t big on kinesthetic learning with manipulatives, you can probably get by without them for at least a while, although in the early stages of Alpha he teaches place value which would be harder to do without blocks (again construction paper and a ruler could create a nice alternative, or you could color in squares on graph paper and cut out, or you could create grids in Word or Excel and print). Having the blocks becomes more essential in higher levels when they work with the other manipulatives. Algebra for example is an abstract concept and using the blocks seems like a great way to see how it works.

Hope some of the specific ideas in how to create block substitutes will work for you.

1 Like