Q&A #3697

Tutoring/ finger counting

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From: Tim G. (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Apr 14, 2000 at 14:30:25
Subject: Re: Tutoring/ finger counting

The key to getting kids to stop using outside tools (fingers, multiplication charts, etc) lies in them feeling comfortable in the facts. If you were to tape the child's fingers down - which IS NOT a good idea - he or she would most likely continue to count, but on something else (I had a student who counted on her toes inside of her shoes!). If your goal is to get this child to do well on a timed test, the child needs practice with the type of questions that are on the test and they need to be able to use their fingers on these practice tests. Eventually, they will start to see that they already know the facts and do not need to use their fingers anymore. Forcing a child to stop using their fingers is a little like forcing kids to stop sounding out words. Is that something we would do? Of course not. It is a valuable tool. Sometime take a look at people in line at a bank. See how many adults are counting on their fingers! -Tim G., for the Teacher2Teacher service

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