H. Campos, J. Soares, P. Catarino

Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (PORTUGAL)
Nowadays, in a world dominated by technology, does it still make sense and is it relevant for the students' learning to use manipulative materials in the classroom? With this research question in mind, we present a teaching experience, developed in a class of the 2nd year of schooling, consisting of a group of 26 students, of which 10 were female and 16 were male, between the ages of six and seven.

The manipulative materials play an important role as a support of student learning, exercising, on the one hand, a playful utility that promotes motivation and, on the other, a catalytic role in understanding content, enabling students to play an active role on their knowledge.
In the early years, children are discovering the world, seeking answers to the adversities that reality imposes, therefore, stimulus, prospects and opportunities should be multiplied. At this stage, children are also developing their motor and sensory perceptions, requiring objects they can manipulate providing the development of their cognitive structure.

Based on a constructivist teaching, an environment was created favorable to the structuring of knowledge, enabling a space for elaboration of conjectures, arguments and justifications on the part of the students, in an oriented way, making easy concepts and procedures, through manipulative materials.

Students' communication of ideas was important for them to explain their reasoning clearly and using some rigor in their mathematical language, which is still under construction.

The analysis of students’ reaction to this type of material was focused on this communication between the teacher and the students whose transcription results from the records of a logbook were compiled by the teacher.

In this context, the teacher develops a work consisting of a set of practices and successive reflections, important to involve the student in their learning and discovery of mathematical concepts.

It is intended that this approach and self-reflection contribute to future applications and reflections, with the aim of improving teaching and enhancing learning in this area.