Math-U-See Manipulatives are used throughout the program to demonstrate mathematical concepts in a concrete and interactive manner. The kits include the Integer Block Kit, Fraction Overlay Kit, and Algebra/Decimal Insert Kit. These visual aids are integral to the Build, Write, Say method used in Math-U-See.

Students use the manipulatives to work through a full range of mathematical concepts including numbers and counting, operations, fractions, decimals, integers, roots, exponents, and algebraic expressions.

In addition to being highly effective visual aids for learning math, manipulatives are also fun for students to use.

Why use manipulatives?

Research shows that learning math concepts with manipulatives:

  • Deepens understanding
  • Increases retention
  • Makes math more interesting for students of all ages

Math-U-See integrates a consistent set of manipulatives to visualize and understand abstract concepts into high school levels. View the tabs above to see just some of the ways manipulatives are used in Math-U-See. 

IBK Demo Title
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The Integer Block Kit is the foundation for the Math-U-See Curriculum. Students use these manipulatives from our introductory level (Primer) all the way through Algebra 1. These color-coded blocks allow students to visualize math operations and demonstrate concepts.

The demo video on the left illustrates how our Integer Block Kit would be used to visualize 2 digit multiplication (12 x 13) so that the student doesn’t just know the answer but understands the answer.  The Integer Blocks also will help reinforce the concept of place value for the student. Consider the answer 156 . That would be one hundred, five tens, and 6 units. We write the number 1 and, because it is in the hundreds place, it is telling us how many hundreds we have—one hundred, or 100. The same is true for the 5 in the tens column—5 tens, or 50. And in the units column, we have six units, or 6. (Notice we don’t call it the “ones” column—one, or 1, is a number. We use the term “units” to clearly differentiate between the place and the number.)

Fraction Overlay Demo
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The Fraction Overlays are used when teaching fractions in Epsilon, the Fraction Overlay Kit includes clear lined vinyl overlays that portray the denominator and colored vinyl pieces that represent the numerator. This kit allows students to easily represent halves, thirds, fourths, fifths, sixths, eighths, tenths, and sixteenths. 

The video on the left demonstrates how the Fraction Overlays would be used to visualize and understand the concept of adding the fractions 1/3 + 2/5 . It demonstrates building the fractions, finding the common denominator, and solving the equation.

The Algebra Decimal Inserts, combined with the integer blocks, are used to teach decimal and algebra concepts in ZetaPre-Algebra, and Algebra 1. Just like the integer blocks, they help students visualize and demonstrate these more advanced math concepts.   

This kit includes 20 red hundredths blocks, 4 red snap-in squares, 4 green snap-in squares, 15 blue snap-in strips, and 15 gray snap-in strips.


This 133-piece manipulative block set is the only one you’ll need for all levels of Math-U-See, from Primerthrough Algebra 1; includes 20 ones and tens, 13 fives, and 10 each of twos, threes, fours, sixes, sevens, eights, nines, and hundreds blocks, plus the Decimal Street™/Block Clock poster. The durable cardboard storage box doubles as a carrying case while keeping blocks tidy and simplifying clean up. Note: While it’s fun to build with our Manipulatives, please remember that they contain small parts and are not toys. We recommend them for children ages 4 and above.
Used when teaching fractions in Epsilon, this updated Kit includes new eighths pieces and more unit pieces to make it easier for students to build mixed-number problems. The fold-shut case has tabbed flaps and clearly-marked sections so overlays stay neatly stored, and the convenient size stands on a bookshelf but is easy to take along. Forty-nine total pieces represent halves through sixteenths. There are 5 green, 2 orange, 3 pink, 4 yellow, 5 blue, 6 purple, and 8 brown colored vinyl pieces representing the numerator. Clear lined vinyl overlays portray the denominator, with two each of halves, thirds, fourths, fifths, sixths, eighths, and tenths, and one half-sheet each of eighths and sixteenths.
Used with the Integer Block Kit to teach advanced decimal and algebra concepts in Zeta, Pre-Algebra, and Algebra 1, this Kit includes 20 red hundredths blocks; 4 red snap-in squares; 4 green snap-in squares; 15 blue snap-in strips; and 15 gray snap-in strips.   Note: While it’s fun to build with our Manipulatives, please remember that they contain small parts and are not toys. We recommend them for children ages 4 and above.