toon700This cartoon resonated with me for several reasons. First, being a lefty gives me legitimate reasons to do poorly in math.  Second, my being a special education primary teacher and spending most of my career dealing with concepts like size order, shape recognition, and the challenging trials and tribulations of the complex one-to-one correspondence, has kept me young and on a primer level. I’ll admit, it’s important to learn math. Probably like any language, it is best to learn it at an early age. Check out Splash Math for an extensive suite of math apps.

I was at a real disadvantage when I was moved to teach at the middle school and reassigned to teach 5th through 8th grade math in addition to ELA, SS, and Science. After working with math readiness (strictly manipulatives) for the last 25 years of my career, holy moly… four different grade levels and no counters? My principal said that I could learn algebra (he didn’t know it took me two years in my own high school career to EEK through it).  So, I went and sat in on a pre-algebra math class for several months and just when I thought I had a concept down we changed gears and once again I was dumbfounded with no recollection of how to do the previously learned skill. Luckily for me,  I’m on my way out the door with retirement papers submitted and plans for a new career that does not involve APPR… People keep asking me, “How many days left? You must be counting” – no, I’m not very good at math…

Teacher Tip: Are you familiar with TouchPoints? Saved my skin and don’t try and convince me that kids shouldn’t use their fingers. Just ask any adult a question with elapsed time and see if they don’t pull out those trusty ten digits! TouchPoints are a very cool concept that some brilliant person came up with and I would like to share them with you just in case you haven’t been exposed to them before.

imgres-1For nearly 40 years, TouchMath has provided educators with the most successful multisensory remedial math programs on the market. The signature trademarked TouchPoints, helpful visual cues, and distinctive one-step-at-a-time presentation moves from concrete to pictorial to abstract concepts — making an often daunting and difficult subject easily understandable for students of all abilities and learning styles. Working through basic math problems, students “see it, say it, hear it, touch it, and learn it”  in ways that are completely unique and more effective than other math programs.

Cartoon was used with permission Thanks Randy!


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