PA Grant Report: Touch Math

November 16, 2023

by Emily McCurrach, Lower School Head Teacher, Fry Room

With the support of a PA Summer Grant, I was able to develop a comprehensive Touch Math resource folder for MMFS Lower School teachers, filled with a wide range of Touch Math worksheets, games, activities, and instructional tools. Although it was geared toward groups working at a kindergarten, first, or second grade instructional level, Touch Math can support any student struggling with number sense, adding and subtracting accurately, or counting coins. 

Touch Math is an innovative approach to teaching mathematics. It was designed to help students gain a deep understanding of fundamental mathematical concepts, particularly those related to number sense. In Touch Math, numbers are transformed into tangible, tactile representations. Each digit from 1 to 9 is given a specific set of touch points:

Students physically touch and count these points in correspondence with the digit’s value. This allows students to visualize and internalize the value of digits when they are struggling to connect the digit’s symbol to its value. 

Touch Math can also help students who struggle to count coins. As you can see below, yellow touch points are given to each coin. These touch points are yellow to show that instead of each touch being equal to one, as with touch numbers, Touch Coin points are equal to five, and the yellow line is equal to one. This allows students to count by 5’s and then add 1 when counting coins instead of needing to alternate between counting by 1’s, 5’s, 10’s and 25’s.

I have been incorporating Touch Math into my math groups for a number of years now and have seen firsthand how touch points can support students and increase their confidence in a variety of areas. 

Thank you to the PA for running this grant program. I appreciate your generosity and trust for this educational mission.

For more on Touch Math, please refer to the following images and video links:

Kindergarten-2nd: Touch Points for Addition & Subtraction

First Grade: Counting Money Using Touch Points

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