MATHEMATICS
teaching in today¡¯s school is text book dominated,
concerned primarily with the manipulation of symbols and,
all too often, largely removed from the real world of the
child. Mathematics enjoys a reputation, which is clearly
less then inspiring.
Why are there such largescale negative attitudes towards
mathematics?

Endless
repetition, meaningless memorization, a never ¨C ending
series of worksheets or practice exercises, and general lack
of interest and understanding are but a few other reasons
that might be listed. Children exist in a world that they
are very eager to numerous artifical situations to which they
are required to respond. 

What
do children really need? 

Mathematics
is not a looker subject like art, a listener subject like
music, a looker & listener subject like dance, but a
looker , listener and doer subject like craft. 

Mathematics is no more a filtering subject but a fulfilling
one. 

Mathematics
is in the mind and is man made. Once concepts are caught
and not taught, children can be seen blossoming into selflearners,
thereby promoting confidence level in other subjects as
well. 

Mathematics
should not be a body of rules and formulate to be learnt
at the dictate of a teacher, but is to be made as a study
of patterns, relations, and structures through active involvement
in learning process and requiring help only in communication,
symbolic or otherwise. 

Merely
providing every learner with the traditionally handed down
box geometrical instrument is inadequate and it is to be
complemented and supplemented by a bag of manipulative math
learning kits for the child¡¯s use. 

Math
phobia should be remedied through authentic learning requiring
handson experience with kits 

The
promising approach to the teaching of problem solving is
the use of mathematics laboratory. 

Children
really need a mathematics program that that is very much
alive, vibrant, relevant and meaningful; a program that
paves the way to seek and understand the world around them. 

What
is a mathematics laboratory? 
The
Mathematics Laboratory is a place, rich in manipulative
material, to which children have ready access to handle
them, perform mathematical experiments, play mathematical
games, solve mathematical puzzles and become involved in
other activities. 
An
integral part of the mathematics laboratory is the manipulation
of objects. Through manipulating concrete material, the
child is better able to bridge the gap between the real
and the abstract world. 
It is also a process and a procedure for teaching and learning
mathematics. The laboratory approach allows pupils to set
up mathematical experiments for the purpose of discovering
some mathematical principle, pattern, or process. Even teachers
can be a part of the process, group discussions, and individual
projects, 
A mathematics laboratory is activitycentered; the child
is placed in problem solving situation and through self
exploration and discovery, he or she provides a solution
based on his or her experience, needs, and interests. 

What
is the purpose of a mathematics laboratory? 

To
provide readily accessible rich manipulative materials. 

To
develop physical involvement in order to add new ideas to
their cognitive structure. 

To
make children experience with real ¨C world embodiments
of mathematical ideas. 

To emphasis on learning by doing. 

To
provide children with opportunities to discover and understand
mathematical concept through their active involvement in
solving problems 

To
make children to think, to look for patterns and ask questions. 

To develop an attitude of inquiry. 

What
are manipulative materials? 
Manipulative
material are objects or things that the pupil is ¡°able
to feel, touch, handle, and move. They may be real objects
which have social application in our everyday affairs, or
they may be objects which are used to represent an idea¡± 
Manipulative material appeal to several senses and are characterized
by a physical involvement of pupils in an active learning
situation. Hence, not all teaching aids or instructional
materials are manipulative materials. 
Manipulative
materials provide tools for problem solving. When a child
has an aid to solve problem that is always available in
the mathematics laboratory, his selfconfidence is increased,
because he does not need to depends on the fallibility of
this memory. 
Unorganized
way of using manipulative materials fails to attain important
goals of mathematics instructions. Children should not learn
merely to manipulate objects. Children should use this manipulation
of objects as a means of learning important mathematical
process, principles, and skills. The use of manipulative
materials is not an end in itself, and care must be taken
that they do not become ¡® seductive shibboleths¡¯. 
Only when manipulative materials
help children understand the abstract nature of mathematics
and assist them in becoming more efficient problem solvers,
is the use of manipulative materials justified.
