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Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Addition/subtraction

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From: owen

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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