Action Research: Using Physical and Virtual Manipulatives with Eighth Grade Geometry Students

Lynn West
Lynn West

By Lynn West.
Abstract: In this action research study of my classroom of eighth grade geometry, I investigated the impact of the use of physical and virtual manipulatives on students’ relational understanding of geometry concepts. I discovered that my students enjoyed and actually looked forward to manipulative-based lessons; they were more engaged in their learning when they worked with manipulatives, whether concrete objects or virtual tools; and manipulative-based activities positively affected student performance. Students reported that they found manipulative-based activities to be helpful in developing understanding of geometry concepts, but when interviewed, four out of five students stated that they preferred hands-on learning to computer applets. As a result of this research, I plan to continue to use manipulative-based lessons in my geometry class. Due to the short duration of this study, I was only able to use manipulatives to teach a limited number of geometry concepts, so I would like to conduct further research on the use of manipulatives with a wider variety of topics.

To read West's entire paper visit

To read the article published in the Omaha World Herald visit

More details at: