Touch Math

What is it and how does it work?

It can be summed up in one word: TouchPoints.

Basically, a TouchPoint is a dot. But TouchPoints are also the key to TouchMath’s success.  It is a technique which integrates visual cues into a one-step-at-a-time approach, ensuring that each skill is easily mastered before introducing the next skill. When the multisensory approach is punctuated with visual cues, negative habits such as reversals and guessing are effectively avoided. Students remain optimistic and self-confident as they assimilate new information. High self-esteem encourages the development of more complex math skills later. Students see, say, hear and touch the numerals and problems without directing their attention away from the paper. This approach capitalizes on the brain’s ability to assimilate information more readily when accessed through several learning channels. It also naturally focuses the students’ attention and keeps them directed toward the task at hand.

Each number from 1 through 9 has TouchPoints corresponding to the digit’s quantity:

Numerals 1 through 5 use single TouchPoints, or dots.

Numerals 6 through 9 use double TouchPoints, symbolized by a dot inside of a circle.

Students touch single TouchPoints once and double TouchPoints twice, each while counting aloud.

By touching the TouchPoints and counting aloud, the teacher engages the visual learner, the auditory learner and the kinesthetic learner.

In TouchMath computations, students always touch the numbers in the touching/counting pattern specified for a particular numeral, as demonstrated here:

The one is touched at the top while counting: “One.”
The two is touched at the beginning and the end of the numeral while counting: “One, two.”
The three is touched at the beginning, middle and end of the numeral while counting: “One, two, three.”
The four is touched and counted from top to bottom on the down strokes while counting: “One, two, three, four.”
The five is touched and counted in the sequential order pictured: “One, two, three, four, five.” Memory Cue: To help in remembering the fourth TouchPoint, it may be referred to as the “belly button.”
The six begins the use of dots with circles. The encircled dots should be touched and counted twice, whenever they appear. Six is touched and counted from top to bottom: “One-two, three-four, five-six.” Memory Cue: Touch at the top, middle, bottom.
The seven is also touched and counted top, middle, bottom: “One-two, three-four, five-six,” followed by the single dot: “seven.” Memory Cue: The single TouchPoint can be thought of as the nose. Teachers sometimes tell young or remedial students to go back and “touch him on the nose” to help them remember the final TouchPoint.
The eight is touched and counted from left to right: “One-two, three-four, five-six, seven-eight.” Memory Cue: Tell the young or remedial students that the eight looks like a robot. Count his eyes first, then his arms.
The nine is touched and counted from top to bottom: “One-two, three-four, five-six, seven-eight,” followed by the single dot: “nine.” Memory Cue: Tell the young or remedial student that the nine is the tallest number and the only number with a “hat”. They should begin counting at the hat and continue straight down the body. Again, the single TouchPoint can be thought of as the nose.

In TouchMath addition, students count forward. In subtraction, they count backward. In multiplication and division, they count in sequences. Students touch, count and repeat the problems and answers aloud to ensure success.

The TouchMath method:

Simplifies and clarifies all areas of computation

Develops left/right directionality

Reduces number reversals

Reinforces number values

Eliminates guesswork

Helps develop a positive self-image