Using Hands-On Activities and Manipulatives in Kindergarten

Sarah Pierpoint, '12, Leah A. Nillas

Research output: Faculty Advisor of Undergraduate Research


This is a study exploring how hands-on activities, including the use of physical and virtual manipulatives, facilitate students’ learning. The research was conducted during a student teaching semester in a rural elementary school, specifically in a Kindergarten classroom. There were sixteen students in the classroom, all between the ages of five and six years old. Three major data sources were analyzed: photographs, sample student work, and teacher journals. Photographs were content analyzed and students’ work and teacher journals were analyzed using Glaser and Strauss’s (1967) Grounded Theory. Additional supplemental data sources included student verbal responses and lesson plans. Students’ participation, engagement, collaboration, and performance were emerging themes from the data analysis. Findings support that hands-on activities have positive influence on students’ learning when supplemented with other teaching practices.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - Apr 14 2012


  • Education

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