Mathematics Manipulatives

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 Description of Designated Support

These designated supports are concrete objects or pictures of concrete objects for a student to move and touch in order to visualize abstract concepts.

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 Assessments

For a student who meets the eligibility criteria, this designated support may be used on

  • STAAR grades 3–8 mathematics, Algebra I, and Algebra II
  • STAAR Spanish grades 3–5 mathematics

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 Student Eligibility Criterion

A student may use this designated support if that student

  • routinely, independently, and effectively uses it during classroom instruction and classroom testing.

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 Authority for Decision and Required Documentation

  • For a student not receiving special education or Section 504 services, the decision is made by the appropriate team of people at the campus level (e.g., RTI team, student assistance team) and documented according to district policies. The decision should be based on the eligibility criterion and aimed at addressing a student’s consistent academic struggle in a specific area even after intensive instruction and remediation.
  • For a student receiving Section 504 services, the decision is made by the Section 504 committee based on the eligibility criteria and is documented in the student’s IAP.
  • For a student receiving special education services, the decision is made by the ARD committee based on the eligibility criteria and is documented in the student’s IEP.
  • In the case of an EL with a disability, the decision is made by the applicable group above in conjunction with the student’s LPAC. The decision is to be documented by the LPAC in the student’s permanent record file and by the other applicable group, as described above.
  • After state testing, DS must be recorded in the ACCOMM. field on the student’s answer document or D in the Assessment Management System for online administrations. This indicates that an allowable designated support was made available to the student.

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 Examples/Types

This designated support may include only

  • real or play money (both heads and tails)
  • clocks with or without numbers shown on clock face; the clock should NOT have gears
  • base-ten blocks
  • various types of counters (e.g., two-sided chips, blocks, numerals with printed or raised dots)
  • algebra tiles; the tiles should NOT contain words, labels, pictures, acronyms, mnemonics, numbers, symbols, or variables
  • fraction pieces (e.g., fraction bars, fraction circles); the fraction pieces should NOT contain labels (e.g., labels that show individual fractions, equivalencies, or cumulative sequence)
  • geometric figures that are grade- or course-appropriate; the figures may be provided in either three-dimensional form or two-dimensional form, but NOT in both forms; the figures should NOT contain words, labels, colors used as labels, pictures, acronyms, mnemonics, numbers, symbols, or variables. Providing a pictorial model of a geometric figure in one form (e.g., net) and a supplement aid of the same figure in another form (e.g., three-dimensional solid) is NOT allowed.

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 Special Instructions/Considerations

  1. A student who uses this designated support may complete the test in a separate setting to eliminate distractions to other students and to ensure the confidentiality of the test.
  2. Using mathematics manipulatives as an accommodation during classroom instruction and classroom testing should not replace the teaching of subject-specific skills as outlined in the TEKS. The student must be able to understand the information that the mathematics manipulatives provide and simply need assistance recalling or visualizing the concepts.
  3. The test administrator may not remind the student to use the mathematics manipulatives or explain to the student how to use them.

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