As a former classroom, elementary teacher and home educating mom of 4, I have always found that most children do best when they are actively involved in a hands on, multi-sensory fashion. So when I had the pleasure of reviewing TouchMath for the School House Review Crew, I was very excited. I chose the 2nd Grade option for my 7 year old and because it also included multiplication that I could use with my 9 year old son working on the memorization of his “Times Tables.”
This is a multi-sensory math program that encourages students to connect the abstract with the concrete. This was created by another educator striving to do just this, from her own classroom experience as well. She created visual and hands on “Touch Points” for the numbers 0 through 9. You begin with large foam numbers the students can actually manipulate, as well as round “Touch Points” to actually place on each numeral for representation of that numeral’s amount. These “Touch Points” become embedded in the student’s mind, from repeated use of mathematical manipulations, in a hands on manner. Then, this process is transferred to the concrete with pencil and paper lessons. There are reminders on the printed numbers for the student to remember their “Touch Points.”
There are full year curriculums for PreK through 2nd Grade and a variety of stand alone units for supplementation in the upper grades. For 2nd Grade we received a downloadable curriculum broken down into units. You can choose to buy each unit for $59.95 a piece or you can buy all four units for 2nd grade for $199.95. We also received manipulatives for this review which inlcuded the flipcards which are priced at $19 .00 a set, the second grade CD software which is priced at $99.00 a set, as well as the foam Touch Numerals. Each lesson has a complete guide for the teacher and the corresponding practice sheet for that lesson just ready to print out. I just kept the lesson up on the computer screen and printed the practice sheet to save on ink and this worked great! The recommended use for this program is 4 to 5 times per week at 2 and a half times the student’s age. So we used TouchMath 4 times a week (one day is co op all day 🙂 ) for about 15 to 20 minutes each lesson for each of my 2 sons. The Core Standard tracking for each unit is useful in a big picture way!
My sons both enjoyed using the foam numerals with the “Touch Points” and the Base Ten manipulatives.
Then the transition to their concrete lessons was seemless most days.
I introduced the “Touch Points” with review before jumping in to where we were working on place value to the hundredths for my second grade son and then used the multiplication unit for my older son and will be starting the division lessons with him soon. They both even took the Foam Numbers and Touch Points out just to play with them some days. TouchMath has Student Number Cards that we used to initially learn the Touch Points. Being able to actually combine the round pieces into a base ten case really helped my son understand that only up to “9” can “live” in the one’s place (and so forth). He had to manipulate ten over to the tens place and then he could easily see how many were left in the one’s place!
We also recieved 12 boxes of “Flip Cards” (which are similar to flash cards) for one on one practice, to practice with each other and for games. The “Flip Cards” are another great tool for reinforcing the math skills worked on that day or practicing for a solid foundation of basic math facts. There are “Flip Cards” available for each of the 4 Second Grade units at $19.00
TouchMath also included the TouchMath Tutor Software for Second Grade. This software is another way to reinforce the skills the student is working on, review previously learned skills or as a math game to play just for fun! This product sells for $99.00
We will continue using this program and would highly recommend it for any student that needs a hands on teaching approach for math. Click the link below for more reviews on the other grade levels available for PreK through 2nd grade!
~Happily Off to do a Math Lesson~