Math has always come easy for me, so it’s sometimes difficult to empathize with many of my students who are unable to grasp basic concepts.
In order to differentiate and reach the variety of learners in my classroom I am constantly looking for new instructional strategies and support materials to improve my instruction.
Recently, I went to a professional development program run by an elementary special education teacher. At this meeting I was introduced to a math instruction program called TouchMath. TouchMath is a multisensory program that uses its signature TouchPoints to engage students of all abilities and learning styles in math instruction.
Students start the program by learning to count numbers one through nine by touching each number at specific points, known as TouchPoints. The students continue to build skills and move into learning addition and subtraction, and eventually multiplication and basic division.
I have not had the opportunity to incorporate TouchMath into my instruction; however I believe that it can be an effective alternative to traditional math lessons. In particular, it may be a beneficial strategy when teaching basic computation to students with special needs. These students generally respond to a multisensory approach.
By Katie Monroe, Graduate Student Assistant at the Rochester Area Colleges’ Center for Excellence in Math and Science.