Jim Franklin, owner of Slide-A-Round Math Manipulatives
What is the primary purpose of your business?
To provide math manipulatives that help teachers address academic standards.
What is the business background of the owners?
I am a special education teacher.
Why did you start (or purchase) this particular business?
I have seen hard working students struggle with several math standards in both the regular and special education classroom. With the increasing demands in education and with our move to the Common Core National Performance Standards, teachers need more than one way to teach concepts to their students.
What makes your business unique?
Most classrooms use traditional methods to teach rounding, such as paper and pencil and dry erase boards and markers. Based on my classroom experience, I have invented a numberline system to 10 million and other math manipulatives that address the standards of fractions, decimals, weight, elapsed time and money. With my fractions manipulatives, students can successfully add or subtract mixed numbers with different denominators even without a pencil or paper! I currently have manipulatives, including Braille and low vision, to meet the needs of all students, teachers aids and a complimentary handout downloads are also available.
What do you enjoy most about your chosen profession?
I enjoy helping students and teachers. I want students to become successful and like math because it is so important. I believe that if students have a strong math foundation in elementary school, then they will be less likely to become frustrated with math in middle school or high school.
What has been the biggest or most interesting challenge to overcome as a small business owner?
Because I am still in the classroom at Elm Street Elementary School, which is quite rewarding, I am unable to accept all of the invitations to share my ideas with teachers in different parts of Georgia and the U.S. My goal is to help as many students as I can; however I face the difficulty of trying to get the word out about my manipulatives while working through my first year of production and distribution. Several excellent, reputable educational organizations (including American Printinghouse for the Blind and the Inclusive Schools Network) have offered their support and endorsement. I appreciate their willingness to evaluate and endorse the effectiveness of my math manipulatives as a vital part of classroom instruction.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
I would like to thank all of the Northwest Georgia schools and school systems that are using my manipulatives. It is a privilege to work with our local teachers and administrators, and most importantly, provide a way to positively impact academic performance and success for all of our students.