Visual Models and Math Manipulatives for Middle School

Visual Models and Math Manipulatives for Middle School


(15 customer reviews)

If you’re a middle school math teacher, you’ve probably heard about Algebra tiles and zero pairs.

Maybe you’d like to use manipulatives and visual models in your class, but you’re not sure where to begin. You might even be wondering if manipulatives are too childish for middle school.

Nothing could be farther from the truth! Scale models are one of the most effective tools for building conceptual understanding in middle school math.

Register today for Visual Models and Math Manipulatives, and in no time, you’ll be confidently teaching any middle school math standard with visual models.

In this virtual workshop, you’ll learn  to use manipulatives and visual models to teach proportions, integers, functions, and more. Registration includes all the print and digital resources you need to bring these engaging visual model activities back to your classroom.

Each virtual session is conducted in real time with a live facilitator. Participants earn a total of 6 PD Hours.

Full workshop details below. Session dates and times are shown to the right, below the dropdown menu.

Billing contact info will be entered at checkout
Product total
Options total
Grand total

For many math teachers, using visual models and math manipulatives for middle school can feel like overkill.

Don’t students need to rely on abstract thinking by middle school? And with so much content to cover — from expressions, to negative numbers, and proportions it can feel like too many things packed into the curriculum.

But there’s just no substitute for visual models and math manipulatives for middle school. They can even make it easier to teach those challenging middle school math standards.

In this workshop, you’ll learn the theory behind visual models, as well as the practical strategies to bring visual models to your classroom.

The Challenges of Using Visual Models and Math Manipulatives for Middle School

Does it ever feel like the visual model lessons in your textbook make things more complicated than they need to be?

I can’t remember the last time a student had an aha moment from studying a bar model.

Maybe you’ve tried to use math manipulatives for middle school, but your students feel they’re too childlike. Or they play with them like toys.

How can you even tell if visual models and manipulatives are even helping them master concepts like variables, integers, and proportions.

If any of these challenges sound familiar, this workshop is for you. By the end of this session, you’ll have all the tools and concepts to effectively use visual models and math manipulaitves for middle school.

Using Visual Models and Math Manipulatives for Middle School Standards

Visual models and manipulatives help students progress through the concrete, representational, and abstract phases of conceptual understanding.

As students develop their understanding of numbers, operations, and associations, they need to interpret and create physical and visual models.

And not just for math facts or fractions. In this workshop, you’ll learn to use the right math manipulatives for middle school students. You’ll learn to teach integers with zero pairs and number lines, variables with Algebra tiles, and unifix cubes for proportions and functions.

We’ll also explore planning and assessment as it relates to teaching manipulatives and visual models.

Topics include the following:

  • Numbers: Modeling Integers, Fractions, Decimals and Percents
  • Operations: Integer and fraction operations, expressions, and exponents
  • Associations: Modeling functions, proportions, and systems
  • Common visual models: area models, growing shapes, bar models and graphing in the coordinate plane
  • Aligning to Your Grade-Level Standards
  • Planning and Assessing visual models
  • Considerations for digital and remote learning

Workshop Overview

The Visual Models and Math Manipulatives for Middle School workshop consists of 6 hours of hands-on, interactive professional learning. Sessions are conducted in real time, with a live facilitator. You’ll solve problems and engage in discussions with fellow educators.

As a participant, you’ll learn to harness the power of visual models and math manipulatives for middle school standards, and you’ll receive copies of all the print and digital classroom resources to help you bring what you learn back to your classroom the very next day!

Unit 1: Numbers and Scale – Learn how scale models support understanding of concrete and abstract numbers

Unit 2: Modeling Operations – Explore strategies to represent expressions and operations with fractions and integers

Unit 3: Associations and Standards – Use models to represent equality, proportions, functions, and systems. Connect models to your grade level standards.

Unit 4: Planning and Assessment – Learn to plan units and lessons that incorporate visual models. Use manipulatives and visual models for formative and summative assessments.

Save Your Seat

Enrollment is open to all middle school teachers, administrators, instructional coaches, tutors, and homeschool parents.

For more on teaching with scale models, read our article, How Visual Models Level the Playing Field for All Math Students. For more information on any of our workshops contact us at [email protected]

If your school or district is interested in group pricing or custom professional development packages, schedule a free consultation with one of our education consultants.

We accept payment by credit card or purchase order. To register by PO, choose Purchase Order as your payment method at checkout. Please include contact information for your school or district business office.

About the Presenter

Jeff Lisciandrello is the founder of Room to Discover and an educational consultant specializing in student-centered learning practicesJeff Lisciandrello is an expert in math curriculum and student- centered instructional practices, with over 15 years experience as a classroom teacher, curriculum designer, and instructional coach. In Jeff’s workshops, educators, don’t just hear about differentiation and inquiry-based learning, they experience them first-hand. You can connect with him via Twitter @EdTechJeff


Sessions are designed for math teachers, coaches, and supervisors in grades 6 through 8, but are open to all educators.
For more information, contact [email protected].

October 2022

15 reviews for Visual Models and Math Manipulatives for Middle School

  1. Kyle

    It was engaging!

  2. Julian

    The engagement level was very high.

  3. Jeremy

    How useful google slides could be to create and use visual models for both the teacher and the students.

  4. Matt

    Tips for remote submission, screen shot,

  5. Monica Google account: [email protected]

    Great use of virtual tools.

  6. Rosana

    The whole presentation was interesting and engaging.

  7. Madhurima

    Good visual models!

  8. Marissa

    I liked how we did stuff hands-on, it’s engaging.

  9. Matt

    Tips for remote submission and screen shotting.

  10. Melissa DeJesus Ojeda

    I absolutely love the takeaways. I was able to use one in my class and it was a great experience. The fact that we collaborated and made it work was the thing that made it special for me.

  11. Danielle Puglisi

    Jeff was super knowledgeable and the problems he chose are applicable to a wide range of classrooms. I’m definitely going to use all of them! I love the digital resources.

  12. Zachary Floyd

    I enjoyed how there was a strong emphasis on collaboration and discussion while working through problems. As well as crafting problems that promote multiple representations/strategies.

  13. Julian Molano

    It was a really well-presented and well-informed workshop.

  14. Jenny Williams

    I feel that this workshop really helped in guiding your students to discover versus handing them their learning.

  15. Linda J. Eagle

    Jeff did a great job. As someone new to Rosa Parks Community School and teaching/supporting math, it was complicated. I support Math as an ESL teacher so overall i liked it, even if sometimes I wasn’t sure about certain things. I learned a lot.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *