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In this action research study of my classroom of eighth grade mathematics, I investigated the use of manipulatives and its impact on student attitude and understanding. I discovered that overall, students enjoy using manipulatives, not necessarily for the benefit of learning, but because it actively engages them in each lesson. I also found that students did perform better on exams when students were asked to solve problems using manipulatives in place of formal written representations of situations. In the course of this investigation, I also uncovered that student attitude toward mathematics improved when greater manipulative use was infused into the lessons. Students felt more confident that they understood the material, which translated into a better attitude regarding math class. As a result of this research, I plan to find ways to implement manipulatives in my teaching on a more regular basis. I intend to create lessons with manipulatives that will engage both hands and minds for the learners.