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Q&A #6281

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Addition/subtraction

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From: owen <owenbprince@hotmail.com>
To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2006012019:18:59
Subject: Re: Math-methods for first graders

The problem with children counting on fingers is that it slows them
down and it keeps them from learning how to use the single line
symbols we call numbers.  
    I know a child that would count his fingers and then forget what
he added before he could write it down.  For this reason it does not
matter what the school rules are.  The fact is he needs to learn to
count on the numbers for his own sake so he can do math.  Everyone
tells kids not to count on thier fingers but it is the first thing
that any child learns.  We ask them how old they are and to show us
how many fingers that is.  It is one thing to tell them to stop
counting fingers and another to show them what they should do instead.
To help them stop counting fingers you must transfer what they know to
what they need to know. 
   I use DOTMATH and recomend that to you.  Use finger paint on the
end of his pointing finger.   Have him put dots around (not on top
of)a large number symbol in a dice like patteren (email me for the
patterns if you like).  He will see that he can now count the dots
that came from his finger.  This links what he knows with what he
needs to know. 

Owen


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