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Q&A #17459

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

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From: Lynda Sander <sanderemail@msn.com>
To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2009092519:33:53
Subject: Re: Who "invented" touch point math?

I am so thankful that someone is talking about this!  There is a name
that I can put to the system I was taught in grade school (I think in
2nd gr.).  I am 27 and a homeschooling mom.  I use Math-U-See with
both of my children and even though we are only into the middle of the
Alpha book, My math has finally gone beyond touch stuff!  I cried when
I watched the MUS demo video for the first time and wondered why I
hadn't been taught "real"math...just imaginary dots on the numbers. 
For the first time, I GOT it...I understood math!  

I have always been horrible with math and I am a firm believer that it
is because of these imaginary dots.  I struggled wit telling time
(talk about embarassing when someone would ask what time it was...I
used to only wear digital for that reason)  I couldn't count out
change or multiply or divide.  Now, while teaching my son his math
lessons (the right way...with manipulatives that after the first day
or so of learning something new, he doesn't need!!!) I have been a
reformed touch math lady!  I can now tell time, count back change,
figure out sales prices in stores without a calculator or my
math-wiz-hubby by my side.  I am convinced that had I been taught math
without this "trick" I would have been a very good math student and
avoided serious embarrasment over the years (I only got through high
school math because of a friend that helped me after school so we
could stay in the same class.)  Please don't teach touch math...or
even give kids the idea that this is a trick that will help them do
math fast...it's a crutch that will only go away with some serious
work on their part.  

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