Sunday, March 17, 2013

TOS Review: TouchMath



I have talked about our Math Woes before. They are many. Josiah is a bright and creative 11-year-old kid. He is also dyslexic and some of those challenges have carried over into Math. He has had difficulty retaining Math facts. His math education has been a frustrating experience for him.

You can imagine my reaction when I read these words in the TouchMath manual first thing. REACH AND TEACH ALL LEARNERS. Could it be?  Would TouchMath be the answer for Josiah's Math Trials and Tribulations? His success with reading has come through a multi-sensory approach, which is what TouchMath is all about.

We spent the next full month reviewing the TouchMath Second Grade Homeschool primarily as math remediation.

What We Received
 

4 downloadable units. Each unit consists of 6 modules. ($59.95 each or all 4 for $199.95)

Unit A -  adding and subtracting within 50
Unit B -  adding and subtracting within 100, place value and understanding multiplication.
Unit C -  adding and subtracting within 1000, with a review of multiplication.
Unit D - time, money, measurement, data and geometry.

I also received TouchMath Manipulatives.

TouchMath TutorSecond Grade Software ($99)



 
Student NumberCards ($24)
 
 

 
TouchNumerals withBase 10 ($99)

 
Second Grade FlipCards ($19/set, I received 12 sets)

How It Works (and How I Used It)

I invite all of you visual learners to take a look at the number below. Each numeral is assigned a pattern (using) dots that represent the concrete value of that number. I can tell you from personal experience with Josiah is that it is hard for some kids to grasp the abstract nature of numbers.

 

This is from the Teacher’s Manual.

“Students master each concept as they see it, say it, hear it, touch it, learn it.”

 

The whole purpose of TouchMath is to give every type of learner the tools to learn.  There is some of the lesson time that is spent learning the point placement of the dots before you get into the nitty gritty. I felt that this was appropriate. It didn’t take Josiah long to grasp the concept. It seemed to make perfect sense to him.

The downloadable units are really long. For example, Unit A is 239 pages. There is quite a bit of information, but the “meat” of the lessons are instructional strategies, student activity pages, etc. You can see how it all works with these sample activity pages. I felt that the activity pages were very suitable for Josiah. They were uncluttered and simple. There wasn’t an absorbent amount of work to be done on each page. Those are very important features for kiddos with math challenges.

Not sure what the "face" is for!

You can count on always finding the following features in each unit: Word Problems. (It is suggested that if your child cannot read the problems themselves, you assist them). Cross-curricular examples and Vocabulary.

The suggested time allotted for a typical lesson is 2-2 ½ times your child’s age. The lessons are scripted. I generally don’t use scripted lessons (I’m a bit impulsive), but I found TouchMath’s Script to be helpful when I needed to explain something just a bit differently. Some of the worksheets are meant to be completed with guidance from the teacher and then there is independent practice.
Looks like he's got it all worked out!

You are not required to purchase the manipulatives to use TouchMath, but I found them to be extremely helpful.

As I have mentioned, Josiah has trouble with the abstract concepts of math. Traditional flashcards have proved to be a waste of money and time. They are simple ineffective. The FlipCards, however, seemed to switch something on his head. They are laminated and he used a dry erase marker to record his answers. I’m telling you…he flipped through these like they were nothing. I was so proud of him. He was able to grasp that something that has eluded him throughout his elementary math learning.

 

We didn’t really utilize the Student Number Cards. He referred to them when first learning the point placement on the numbers.

The Second Grade Tutor CDs were a lot of fun and very effective. I was able to install them on both of our computers. A particular lesson starts and ends with a test so the teacher is able to track the progress. I was also able to go in and reset each lesson so he could practice over and over again. I could see progress each and every time.

The TouchNumerals with Base 10 were also effective. There are 3 sets of brightly colored 6-inch foam numerals 0-9, 205 TouchPoints and operation signs (also brightly colored and made of foam) and 10 Base Ten Trays. These made of plastic. The touch points are used as the 10 blocks and the base 10 trays can be closed. Very handy.


At first, I had to remind him that the numbers themselves were not a part of his current Starship building project. But he soon got the hang of it. He enjoyed creating his own math problems. I worried that he might find them too “babyish” but I was proven wrong. I think the kinesthetic nature of the TouchNumerals appealed to him. Keep in mind that these tools are not just for learning simple counting, addition and subtraction facts. They are also intended to be used for multiplication and division. I feel like we are now up to the challenge.
 

I can’t tell you enough how grateful I am to have this product in my home. I recognize that every child is a unique learner. For us, Touch Math has proved to be the right combination of methods to help Josiah. Simply putting a worksheet in front of him is not enough.  

TouchMath can be used as a stand-alone curriculum or as a supplement. For those of us who have kiddos that need a variety of learning experiences (other than the traditional lecture and worksheet route) I feel that TouchMath is well worth the investment. Josiah’s new found confidence in his Mathmatical abilities does this Mama’s heart good.

My fellow TOSreviewers also reviewed TouchMath’s Pre-K, Kindergarten, 1st &2nd Grade Homeschool programs. I suggest you go take a look.



Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

1 comment:

  1. We are thrilled that you and Josiah enjoyed the program, and are always happy to hear and see ways in which TouchMath positively impacts students! Thank you for the informative write-up and wonderful photos of the program in use in your home. Please let us know if we can be of assistance in the future.

    All the best,
    The TouchMath Team

    ReplyDelete

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