Math Virtual Manipulatives

by C. Elkins, OK Math and Reading Lady

Today’s post is a recommdendation of several math websites with FREE virtual manipulatives.  Each site has their advantages and disadvantages, and you really just need to play around with them to decide which ones have the features and manipulatives you like best.


  • Use of these help children of all grade levels with this math progression (from concrete to pictorial, to abstract).
  • They are FREE, so no need to order and pay for them via a math catalog.
  • If you load them onto your students’ ipads or chromebooks, there is no need to get out the tubs of manipulatives in the class (which we all know get dirty, and it takes half of the class period to distribute them IF there are even enough).
  • Students can have their own set right in front of them.
  • You can give the links to parents for students to use at home.
  • While these are virtual on the screen, students can still manipulate them which is almost as good as the concrete objects.
  • The teacher can save time without having to draw geometric shapes, rulers, base ten, etc. on the board.
  • They are great for problem solving projects:
    • How many different ways can you use the square tiles to show an area of 24 in the shape of a rectangle?
    • How many different ways can you show 1/2 with the fraction bars or circles?
    • Create shapes with angles that measure _____, _____, and _____ degrees.
    • With the balance scale, show 3 x 6 on one side and balance it with another multiplication expression.
    • How many different geometric shapes can you make using same size triangles? (example: 2 triangles can make a square)
    • What are some you’d like to share with others in this blog???

Virtual Manipulative Links

Didax virtual manipulatives

Math Learning Center apps

Mathigon and Polypad

This is a new one I just found out about via an online math conference. It has some really cool features. The activities and lessons are more for upper elementary, but the manipulatives are for any age group.

Excellent FREE Online Reading and Math Sites – My favorites!

By C. Elkins, OK Math and Reading Lady

Are you looking for a place to find great quality FREE online stories / books that fit your child’s or students’ reading levels? What about instructional math videos just right for explaining math concepts, and virtual math manipulatives (especially if students don’t have any at home)?  I have 4 I highly recommend and will highlight below.

  1. is a very high quality non-profit site which can be used with individual children or the whole class.  You will find articles, ebooks, and a library. Search by grade level, lexile level, genre, skill, etc. Most articles have an audio function and can be presented digitally or printed. The text selections really help build background knowledge that a lot of students are missing. Be sure to check out their “Article a Day” program.  As a teacher or parent, you can create a class and make assignments.  Comprehension questions and free response questions are included. ALL of it is FREE.  They have webinars available to learn about all of the features. Well worth your time!
  2.  If you are looking for leveled books for PreK-3rd grade students, then Wilbooks may definitely meet your needs.  There is a good selection of fiction and non-fiction leveled by grade level or guided reading levels A-M.  Levels A and B have around 30 titles each. Not all of the levels have that many, as it varies. The back cover of each book tells the grade level, guided reading level and word count in case you want to do a running record. If you want access to their entire collection, the price is VERY reasonable. I haven’t purchased it myself YET, but it states $1.99 for a monthly individual account. I have been using these books and the students like them!
  3.  This is a really good site for math instructional videos and lessons.  Learn Zillion used to be totally free, but like others you now have to purchase a subscription to get everything they have to offer.  BUT, by creating a free account you still get access to about 1000 videos. You can search by grade level, standard, key word, etc. The instructional videos are done very well and are easy to follow (at least the one’s I have viewed).  And they are short and concise.  These would be great to use with a zoom lesson in your class or as a parent who is searching for the right way to explain a strategy.  The objectives are clearly stated, videos are often also available in a slide format so you can explain it yourself, and you have the option to make assignments as well.
  4.  I cannot speak highly enough about this FREE site. Math Learning Center apps cover just about any manipulative you need, but don’t have physical access to:  base ten, pattern blocks, coins, clocks, ten frames, geoboards / area grids, number lines, Rekenrek counters, etc.  These are interactive and can be used as a website or app. The directions are clear (look for the little “i” in the corner of each screen). These are FUN to use!  Here is a link for more information about this great resource that I posted last year:  Virtual Math Manipulatives

So there you have it, 4 great websites well worth your investigation!!  Do you have some to recommend? Just respond by clicking the little speech bubble.

P.S.  If you are interested in any of the following to meet your professional or personal needs, please go to the bottom of my “About Me” page for more details (black bar at top of this blog).

  • Professional devlopment – private, job-embedded, workshop, or webinar
  • Working as an online tutor
  • Referring a student for online tutoring