Q&A #17459

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

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From: owen

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2007092622:59:37
Subject: Re: The Potential Dangers of Teaching Touch Math

To: Angela G. Andrews <angela.andrews@nl.edu>
At: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2007092616:47:36
Subject: The Potential Dangers of Teaching Touch Math

Dear Angela:
    Thank you, thank you, thank you.  A million thanks to you for your
courage to speak on this subject.   Some people are very defensive
about this system and they did not make it.   My first version of
“Dotmath for kids” ( 1966)  had dots on top of the number symbol and I
found that it had some of these problems that you point out.   The
children saw the dot and the number as one symbol and could not
separate them once they learned it that way.  When these  problems
were discovered  in my first  version of “dotmath”  I was not
defensive - I fixed the problems.

  I do not recommend that anyone use my first versions or any system
that puts the dots on top of the number symbol.  I now use dice
patterns the student must learn first.  They should be able to know
and say the number value, without counting every dot.  The PATTERN is
then associated to the number symbol (not on top - but around it). 
This way they see that the dot pattern and the number are not one
symbol but two ways of showing the same value.   I find some grade 1
to grade 4 teachers like the touch math and are addicted to it as much
as the children are.  The teachers of grade 5-12  , that I know, are
unhappy with  touch math because they  must some how retrain the
addicted students.

I have now made a version of “Dotmath for kids” that  has  solved  the
problems that I had with the first versions.    You can copy the
graphics from the “Dotmath for kids” web site.  You can copy them for
FREE but you must agree with the site rules.  The number one rule is
that you may not mix or use any of the “Dotmath” material with touch

If you want to know more about  “Dotmath” you can type  “Dotmath for
kids”  into  the google search box.    You will find more info there
and you can Email me with your questions.  I will do my best to
respond - if possible (depending on how many  questions I get).

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