Today I paid a few bills. It didn’t take me too long because I used my trusty calculator. Looking at all the money signs and numbers on each amount due gave me anxiety and I thought, “how in the world are we going to pay all that?!” Easy. It wasn’t as much as my eyes perceived it to be. That’s because I cannot add, or subtract, without writing every number down and counting their “touch points”.
The video above describes how to use TouchMath. I was taught this system in my early Elementary days, and it has RUINED ME. To this day, as embarrassing as it is to admit, I cannot look at numbers and project what the final outcome will be without seeing those awful circles and dots.
Not only is our family budget an issue, I despise being the one who pays for the check at lunch. I wait until no one is watching, and I proceed to count my imaginary dots on each number like a three-year old. Mumbling to myself, “One, two, three, four….dammit! One, two, three, four, five, six. Wait, that’s a double circle *grumble*.” I then have to count a second time just to be sure that I didn’t miss a point. It….takes….forever.
Math scares me because I am extremely slow at the easiest form of it. Grocery shopping, paying bills, and making sure we have a steady budget are VERY hard for me to keep under control. In college, math was the only subject I didn’t pass. I took every class and was so scared to take the final that…..I just never showed up for it.
I am terrified to get a job that involves money, counting money, or even has to do with numbers in general. I’d be an awesome waitress, but you may never get your change! Counting employee’s hours on their time cards used to take me about a day, sometimes two.
The founder of the TouchMath method claims that her intentions three decades ago were to, “help banish math anxiety worldwide, whether that anxiety is born of fear, lack of comprehension, or a learning disability”. For me it has done the complete opposite. Thank you ma’am.
I worked as a secretary for a Collegiate Academy Charter school awhile ago, and I saw the expectations we put on kids these days to “perform”. I saw how much pressure was put on the teachers and students to do well on big “state tests”. The anxiety and stress of making sure all kids were up to speed was insane! Averages and numbers needed to be high, and student’s learning capacities and skills were judged off of the outcome. Brain cramming subjects so the kids would retain the subject matter when really, they were retracting and not grasping the fundamentals.
For some kids shortcut methods will not continue for them, as it did not continue with me. Get back to the basics. I wish that teachers could truly take their time and teach, not mold students to be impressive in test taking abilities. Word of advice to anyone out there using this method: If the teacher is teaching TouchMath, please make sure the students are also memorizing the problem. It could take YEARS to break the habit of counting points!! This bleeds into every other math subject imaginable, and it is impossible to train the mind NOT to count those stupid dots.
As I see and hear all the hoopla about Common Core, it makes me sick. I absolutely can say without a doubt that we will be “unlearning” these habits down the road.
ONE POSITIVE NOTE: TouchMath is a great method for those with autism, and special needs students (at least that’s what they advertise). See it, hear it, touch it, repeat it. It is a smart, fantastic, sensory way to approach the subject.
Thank goodness we have the artistic side of the brain! Count me in on that!