Discuss the statement , In order for children to understand the use of paper-and-pencil algorithms, they should explore addition by first using manipulatives. Do you agree with this statement? Give examples from your own life of this principle (taking what you know and applying it to new things).
Discuss the importance of teaching mental mathematics and estimation to young children. With the prevalence of computers and the calculator, do you think it is valuable for students to be able to do operations in their head? What about on paper?
This provides a possible answer to the question of whether or not manipulatives are useful in understanding mathematical algorithms.