What tools or methods can we use to make maths 'real'?

Preparatory questions and links:

Focusing questions:
What areas of the curriculum tend to be the most difficult to make concrete?
Do you use project or task-based activities? If so how - for teaching, practise, review?
What methods do you find particularly effective or ineffective?
How do you move from concrete or 'real' maths towards the underlying concept?
What strategies have you used to help students represent/understand specific concepts?
What specific tools - manipulatives, technology, board games, etc. - do you use and how do you use them?
Does the programme or text you use provide sufficient 'real' maths? If not, how you supplement?

(Provided by @ColinTGraham)

Threaded discussion from 22nd July 2010 -
Threaded discussion from 26th July 2010 -

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