I suppose I have found that most of my students who have had difficulties never had the chance to use their hands and other objects and tools such as rulers, protractors, etc. The hands-on approach and "real" manipulatives can often help these students get connected to what they are learning.

However, we don't always have access to algebra tiles, for example. Sometimes the online environment can be more accessible, or simply more appropriate for some learners.

I was lucky enough to have an interactive whiteboard in my classroom; so I was able to demonstrate and have students come up to the board to try things.

Some great sites are:

However, we don't always have access to algebra tiles, for example. Sometimes the online environment can be more accessible, or simply more appropriate for some learners.

I was lucky enough to have an interactive whiteboard in my classroom; so I was able to demonstrate and have students come up to the board to try things.

Some great sites are:

- See the National Library of Virtual Manipulatives.
- For examples of applets that use algebra tiles, see:

- http://nlvm.usu.edu/en/nav/frames_asid_189_g_4_t_2.html?open=activities&from=category_g_4_t_2.html
- http://media.mivu.org/mvu_pd/a4a/homework/applets_expressions.html
- Make sure you "square up" the screen if you use this one :) https://my.hrw.com/math06_07/nsmedia/tools/Algebra_Tiles/Algebra_Tiles.html
- Another great site is my friend Jim Reed's (it may be a little bit older, but sometimes aging works ;) at http://staff.argyll.epsb.ca/jreed/