Mathematics Manipulatives

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 Description of Designated Support

The mathematics manipulatives are concrete objects or pictures of concrete objects that a student can touch and move in order to visualize abstract concepts.

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 Assessments

For a student who meets the eligibility criteria, mathematics manipulatives may be used on:

  • State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) grades 3–8 mathematics and Algebra I
  • STAAR Spanish grades 3–5 mathematics

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 Student Eligibility Criterion

A student may use the mathematics manipulatives if that student

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

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 Authority for Decision and Required Documentation

  • For a student who is not receiving special education or Section 504 services, the decision about whether to permit use of this designated support is made by the appropriate team of people at the campus level (e.g., Response to Intervention [RtI] team, student assistance team). The decision, which must be documented according to district policies, is made on the basis of eligibility criteria 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 on the basis of eligibility criteria and is then documented in the student's individual accommodation plan (IAP).
  • For a student receiving special education services, the decision is made by the admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee on the basis of eligibility criteria and is then documented in the student's individualized education program (IEP).
  • In the case of an English learner (EL) with a disability, the decision is made by the applicable group in conjunction with the student's language proficiency assessment committee (LPAC). The decision must be documented both 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. This indicates that an allowable designated support was made available to the student. For students who test online, the Other Designated Supports field should be updated under the Non-Embedded Supports panel in the Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE).

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 Examples/Types

The mathematics manipulatives designated support may include only the following items:

  • Real or play money (both heads and tails)
  • Clocks with or without numbers shown on the 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

Read the following information. If you have any questions, contact the Student Assessment Division at 512-463-9536 and ask to speak with your Accommodations Task Force representative.

  1. A student who uses this designated support may complete the test in a setting that is separate from other students in order to eliminate distractions and 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 Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (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.

If you have any questions, contact the Student Assessment Division at 512-463-9536 and ask to speak with your ATF representative.

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 Supporting Resources

For assistance with test administration functions for all Texas assessments, contact Texas Testing Support at 833-601-8821 or TexasTestingSupport@cambiumassessment.com.

If you have any questions, contact the Student Assessment Division at 512-463-9536, and ask to speak with your Accommodations Task Force representative.

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