"There is no one way"

Friday, January 11, 2013

Manipulatives update

As larger publishers swallow smaller ones, educational materials with a smaller market tend to be removed from the market. As an author, I have been a victim of this economic reality for quite some time now. However today I have some good news on that front.

My book Geometry Labs was originally published by Key Curriculum Press, along with two manipulatives I designed: the CircleTrig Geoboard and the Geometry Labs Template. The book also used other manipulatives (tangrams, pattern blocks, cubes, and mirrors.) Those can be found fairly easily, but the two items I designed became hard to get when Key's new owner decided to get out of the manipulatives business.

Key behaved in a decent and respectful way: they gave the rights to the book back to me, as per our contract, and moreover threw in all the files that I needed to make it available free on my Web site for your non-commercial use.

They also found a new home for the manipulatives, a Canadian company which is affiliated with Nasco in the US. So you can just go to the Nasco Web site for both the CircleTrig Geoboard and the Geometry Labs Template.

The Nasco Web site does not offer much information on either product, so here you go:

CircleTrig Geoboard: On one side, an 11 by 11 geoboard. Useful for many things, especially activities about slope, area, distance, and the Pythagorean theorem. On the other side, a circle geoboard, with radius 10 cm, and a 360° protractor. Useful for activities leading to the inscribed angle theorem, and to introduce basic trig, both on the unit circle (the unit being the decimeter) and in right triangles. Most of these activities of course can be done on paper, but it's more fun to start on the geoboard.

Geometry Labs Template: Eight different triangles, ten different quadrilaterals, seven different regular polygons, and all the pattern blocks — shapes you need for basic geometry activities. Also perfect for exploring the Archimedean tessellations. Centimeter and inch rulers, plus a protractor. Can be kept in a 3-ring binder. See it as a PDF.

Activities using both can be found throughout Geometry Labs, but if you come up with other uses, please share them with me!


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