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 math. 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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