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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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