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Mind-Body Math: Manipulatives in the Digital Age [Infographic]

Explore what research says about how students can use their bodies to better learn math --and how technology can help.

By Christine Byrd June 15, 2017

The mind-body connection is widely accepted in health and wellness, inspiring people to practice yoga or meditation, and for competitive athletes to seek sports psychologists.  But what role does the mind-body connection play in the math classroom?

Recently, a MIND Research Institute psychologist, mathematician and education researcher teamed up to explore decades of research into how our bodies can be involved in learning, and the ways that technology makes it easier than ever to put these powers to use in the classroom. This infographic presents highlights of what they found.

Digital Manipulatives Infographic

digital manipulatives infographic

 

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Apply this Research in your Classroom

Interested in learning more about how to apply research around embodied cognition and digital manipulatives in your classroom? Download the toolkit:

 

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Sources

Alibali, M. W., & DiRusso, A. A. (1999). The function of gesture in learning to count: More than keeping track. Cognitive Development, 14(1), 37–56. http://doi.org/10.1016/S0885-2014(99)80017-3.

Bertsch, S., Pesta, B. J., Wiscott, R., & McDaniel, M. A. (2007). The generation effect: A meta-analytic review. Memory & Cognition, 35(2), 201–210..

Cook, S. W., Mitchell, Z., & Goldin-Meadow, S. (2008). Gesturing makes learning last. Cognition, 106(2), 1047–1058..

Craik, F. I., & Lockhart, R. S. (1972). Levels of processing: A framework for memory research. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 11(6), 671–684.

Fischer, M. H., & Brugger, P. (2011). When digits help digits: spatial-numerical associations point to finger counting as prime example of embodied cognition. Frontiers in Psychology, 2, 260. http://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00260.

Goldin-Meadow, S., Cook, S. W., & Mitchell, Z. A. (2009). Gesturing gives children new ideas about math. Psychological Science, 20(3), 267–272.

Johnson-Glenberg, M. C., Birchfield, D. A., Tolentino, L., & Koziupa, T. (2014). Collaborative embodied learning in mixed reality motion-capture environments: Two science studies. Journal of Educational Psychology, 106(1), 86–104. http://doi.org/10.1037/a0034008.

Martin, T., & Schwartz, D. L. (2005). Physically distributed learning: Adapting and reinterpreting physical environments in the development of fraction concepts. Cognitive Science, 29(4), 587–625.

Montessori, M. (1964). The absorbent mind. Wheaton, IL: Theosphical Press.

Segal, A., Black, J., & Tversky, B. (2010). Do gestural interfaces promote thinking? Congruent gestures promote performance in math. Presented at the 51st annual meeting of the Psychonomic Society, St. Louis (Missouri, USA)

Tran, C., Smith, B. and Buschkeuhl, M. (2017). Support of mathematical thinking through embodied cognition: Nondigital and digital approaches. Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications 2017 2:1

Christine Byrd writes about STEM and education issues for MIND Research Institute.

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