For a little over a month now, I have been working with a new (to us) math curriculum with three of our kids. It’s called
TouchMath, and after looking over what would be covered, we chose to review the first grade curriculum.
This is a downloadable curriculum, and as we received the full first grade, it took some time to download it all, but it was quite worth the time! There are four units, and each one includes the following:
6 Module Guides with Instructional Strategies
90 Student Activity Sheets
6 Assessments (one per module)
Real World Connections
This curriculum can be purchased by the unit, at the cost of $59.95, or you can get the full year at once for $199.95, a savings of $39.85.
In addition to receiving the download of the full first grade curriculum, the company shipped us a very big box that contained a number of manipulatives. In our box were the following:
TouchNumerals with Base 10, which are available for $99.00
Flip Cards, available for $19.00 per set
TouchMath Tutor First Grade Software, available for $99.00
Student Number Cards, available for $24.00
The Student Number Cards come in a pack of ten sets, and it is suggested that they be laminated and then cut apart. I chose to take a set for each of my children (including my step-son, “The Artist”, who is currently working at a different grade level in math) to an office supply store and get them laminated. The person who did the work at the store suggested that in order to keep the laminate from separating, we break the cards apart at the perforations and THEN laminate them, cutting them apart after that. I am happy with the results of that choice, and it cost exactly the same as if we’d done it the other way. Now they each have a set, and they will be nice and sturdy, and last for a long time. When and if they DO wear out, or are lost (again, these are boys, who often-times do not take really good care to be very organised with their belongings), there are six remaining sets in the package, and if it becomes necessary, I can take them to the office supply store and do the same thing again, although I AM hoping for a laminator of my own soon, along with a binding machine, since a good deal of curriculum we are finding ourselves using these days is downloadable and printable . . . (big hint here, to my husband, LOL!)
The following free resources are available here:
Money Educator Materials
Scope & Sequence
Fun and Games
Calendars and Fun Sheets
My twins (“Mr. Loquacious” and “The Puzzler”) are actually age 11, but when we adopted them a few years ago at age 8, they could not read, even a little, and over the first few years they have been with us, we really had to prioritize working on behavioral issues before they could manage to focus on academics at all, so even though I could tell that the very beginning of the first grade curriculum would be mostly review for them, we are fairly quickly getting into things they do not have a good handle on yet.
My oldest child, “The Batman” has always had problems with math as a result of his fetal alcohol syndrome, so once the twins were past the very beginning portion of the first unit, I added him in with us.
TouchMath was an entirely new and different concept for us, but makes a lot of sense when working with special needs children, as I do in our home school and our life. My children are extremely hands on, and visual, so it seems to be working for them.
Some examples from the “About TouchMath” section of the website:
“Using pictorial objects and our trademarked TouchPoints, we teach young children to associate numerals with real values (number quantities).
The three is touched at the beginning, middle and end of the numeral while counting: “One, two, three.”
“The six begins the use of double TouchPoints (dots with circles). These double TouchPoints should be touched and counted twice whenever they appear. Six is touched and counted from top to bottom: “One-two, three-four, five-six.”
We are just finishing up with Unit A, module 2, a lot of which was review for my boys, but since, as I said previously, we are brand new to the TouchMath system, I really wanted to get them grounded with it before moving on.
The worksheets (15 per module, plus a post test worksheet) are fun for them, and they enjoyed coloring the pictures on each of them after finishing with the instructed work. They ended up wanting to also color in the double touch point circles as well, once we reached the numbers that had them.
With some of the worksheets, there was a suggestion at the end to have the child turn the page over and draw a picture having to do with the number they had worked with on that sheet, and tell me about it. My boys enjoyed doing that, each one either drawing and telling about (for example) their three favorite toy cars, sports cards, or games, or making up a little story about seeing five of something while out and about.
The manipulatives, while not necessary to use this curriculum, are a very nice add-on, especially when one has special needs children to work with. I’ve already told you about the Student Number Cards, and now I’m going to talk about the TouchNumerals with Base 10. From the website:
“This set contains brightly-colored 6” foam numerals, operation symbols, TouchPoints and Base 10 trays. Students place the TouchPoints on the numerals in the correct Touching/Counting Patterns, remove them and practice on the other numerals. As students explore basic computation with the numerals 1–9 and higher using the Base 10 trays and TouchPoints, they begin to make the connection between concrete objects and numerical values. A complete teacher’s manual is included.”
What was included in our set:
Three sets of numerals 0–9
Ten Base-10 trays
There are sample views of things you can do with this set here.
Here are my boys putting together an addition problem with the Touch Numerals and the Touch Points . . .
These hands on manipulatives are wonderful, although I personally wish they were constructed of something much sturdier than foam, if only so that they would last a lot longer when one has four rough and tumble boys, like I have! 🙂 They are quite nice, though, and good size, at six inches. They make it very easy and fun to spread out and use the floor for learning. We can set out the numerals and put the touch point circles on them to practice touch point counting, we can add the operation signs to practice addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. The base ten trays are nice for holding the touch point circles, as well as using them as a hands on visual of grouping in tens.
The Flip Cards are pretty impressive. There are twelve different sets for the full curriculum. They are, as I said above, $19.00 per set, but I find them to be worth it, if you have children who like a hands on approach to learning and they can be fit into your budget. When you get all of the sets, they will cover the following:
Counting Cards 1–120, Addition and Subtraction 0–9 with TouchPoints, Comparing Numbers with Multiple Representations, Addition Fact Families 10–18, Subtraction Fact Families 10–18, Place Value Cards 10–20, Adding and Subtracting 10, Adding and Subtracting 2-Digit Numbers No Regrouping, Place Value Cards 10–60, Measuring Objects Using Objects, Defining Geometric Shapes 2-D and 3-D, & Fractions in Geometric Shapes Halves through Sixths.
At $19.00 per set, they may seem pricey, but they are extremely sturdy, they are large, two-sided cards, and the number of cards varies in each set, ranging from 50 – 100 cards. So far, we’ve gotten into just the first set, which can be used in a variety of ways, such as making a memory game on the floor by laying them all out, or even choosing a set number to lay out, removing some and having the children figure out which number must go either before or after the number showing.
“The Batman” replacing one of the missing cards after drawing from the deck . . .
“Mr. Loquacious” putting his card into place . . .
. . . and finally, “The Puzzler”, taking his turn!
Because of the benefit the flip cards, the Touch Numerals and the Student Number Cards are to my special needs children, I can honestly say that if I had not received them to review, and would be able to fit them into my educational budget, I would purchase them.
The TouchMath Tutor Software is not a NECESSITY, but it is a fun reinforcement game for the kids, which also incorporates some geography. If it fit into my budget, and had not been generously given to me by the company, I would probably purchase it. My children love computer games, and my personal preference when it comes to the purchase of them is to try to get educational games as much as possible.
Here are all three of the boys learning how the game works while “Mr. Loquacious” is playing . . .
“The Puzzler” is giving it a try . . .
. . . and now, “The Batman” gets a turn, too!
I really like this curriculum, and my children seem to be enjoying it a great deal.
Other crew members reviewed this and other grade levels of TouchMath. To read their opinions, please click on the graphic below.