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Use Touch Math to Help Students Struggling With Addition

written by: Margo Dill • edited by: Elizabeth Stannard Gromisch • updated: 4/5/2012

If students in your classroom are having trouble understanding addition, one method that works for young students is TouchMath®. Students usually understand Touch Math easily for addition, and it can help them transition into learning subtraction. There are free worksheets available also.

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    If your students are struggling with traditional methods of learning addition, try using the TouchMath® program to reach these children.

    The website shows you numbers one through nine, and the touch points for each number, at no cost. If you think this program would help your students learn addition, you can also find materials to order. The official Touch Math website is located at http://www.touchmath.com.

    The below information will help you get started with the program.

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    Getting Started

    Sample from Free Touch Math Worksheet When teaching addition using Touch Math, the first thing you must do is teach students the touch points for numerals one through nine.

    The best way to do this is by making a laminated number line for each of your students. This number line would list the numbers one through nine with the touch points clearly marked on each numeral. (You can find the touch points on the home page or about us page on the website). You can also purchase materials from the website, and many are downloadable, so you can use them immediately in your classroom or with your students.

    Show your students how to use the touch points with the laminated number lines. Have them practice every day — starting with one through five until they have these points memorized, and then they can learn six through nine.

    Many students will know the touch points without relying on any outside resources after a few days of practice. This program is perfect for tactile learners, who need to have hands-on materials in order to master concepts.

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    Teaching Addition

    To see if you think Touch Math addition will benefit you and your students, you can download free worksheets for addition practice from the website, depending on what grade level you are working with.

    When first beginning with this math program, it is best to start with problems using numerals one through five, so students can become comfortable with the process. The sample worksheets on the website shows you how to add one to numerals one through four using the touch points. Once students understand how to add one, then you can go on to two and so on.

    Basically, students will be counting to find their answer. They start with the highest number and add on. For example, if the addition problem is 4 + 2, then a student using touch math would start with the four. He would touch the four and say, "Four." Then touch the first touch point on the numeral 2, and he would say, "5." Next, he would touch the second touch point and say, "6." He knows his answer is six because there are no more touch points for the numerals in the problem.

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    This math program has helped many students challenged by math concepts to stay on grade level and become proficient in math skills.

    Many students transition out of the program and memorize their facts, just like students who learned addition and subtraction with more traditional methods. Just think of Touch Math like a stepping stool, a place where students can start from and reach their math goals while learning new concepts.

    The website is also a great resource to bookmark on your computer if you are already teaching addition using Touch Math and want to get free worksheets

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