Q&A #17459

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

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From: Manga Lito

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2008060523:57:46
Subject: Re: The Potential Dangers of Teaching Touch Math

Your argument is based on your opinion and experience, but no statistical data. The evidence shows that students to learn best with manipulatives because it involves multiple sensory experiences for students. While a separate physical item adds the ability to be moved and touched and can be seen as adding more sensory components, a dot is not just a symbol. A dot, like the bees, circles or other rudimentary figures our kids draw on paper represent value and something that students can identify with. I am interested in statistical data that would support your theory, but I doubt there is any. I have seen touch point math as extremely successful. Students learn how to use it for their basic facts. Do you see rote memory as a better alternative. I've seen students make a perfectly natural transition to more advanced concepts. I also see a far more positive attitude towards math because of the touchpoints. Affect plays an important role in the learning process. There are many important concepts to be taught in math. Why torture young 5 and 6 year old children with countless hours of torturous memorization, when this program is so much more efficient. I seriously doubt that any of your points would hold up to the scrutiny of real research, but I am interested to see, because I am teaching this program.

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