Q&A #17459

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Who "invented" touch point math?

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From: OP

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2006082220:49:05
Subject: Who "invented" touch point math?

You said: "I vaguely remember meeting a person while I worked in a book and stationery store in Oregon, who began telling me about his concept for a new mathematical technique called Touch Point Math. Since then, I have seen this technique used over the years and am now an avid fan and teaching it to my own 3rd grade classroom. I would like to know if indeed the man I met in Oregon was the actual originator, and/or what that person's name is". Response: What you did not say was what year you talked to this man. Many people over the years have had similar ideas about points or tallies to help teach math to children. I have a system I call DotMath for kids. I teach dot patterns (similar to dice) and then show how to make the number symbol from the dots but I have never called them touch points. The DotMath web site is at http://dotmath.tripod.com/ My first version of DotMath was in 1966 and have the copyright on DOTMATH for kids.. I talked to the head of the school district here and he said he was taught something similar to what I have in 1950 in Utah but I could not find any information or copyright on what he was taught. There is a site called touch math and they teach touch points. They use a combination of dots and circles on top of the number symbol. This is very different from DotMath so obviously I do not agree with their concept. There has always been disagreement between the experts in math and how to teach it and you will find disagreement between DotMath for kids and touch math. You can find information about who developed it from their web site. You did not explain what touch points you teach or how long you have been doing this. Are they the “dots and circles” of touch math? There are different patterns so you need to explain what you mean by “touch point math”.

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