Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Touch Math Review

     In February I had an awesome opportunity to switch Chloe ( 7 ) over to using TouchMath, so we did.  In particular we got to use their Homeschool Grade 2 program.  We've now spent a full month completely immersed in it, and today I want to share with you this impressive and very innovative Maths program that is designed for true multisensory use.  

"Four Units - 24 Modules - One complete program"

{ About the Product }

     TouchMath is an ingenius and effective program that is very specifically designed to engage a student using a multisensory approach to develop basic mathematical skills.  This is a full time comprehensive program.

     We downloaded the main core of the program from the TouchMath website in pdf format.   This included all 4 of their units for Grade 2.  Each unit consists of 6 modules.  That made for a total of 24 modules which will cover the entire school year. 

     There's a LOT in each pack since every unit comes with an implementation guide, progress monitoring, scripted lesson plans, answers, worksheets, math vocabulary, and assessment pages.

     As I mentioned previously:  in each Unit there are 6 modules.  Each module is divided up into several different parts in addition to the cover and contents pages.

I. Module Overview
II. Instructional Strategies for Student Activity Pages
III. Module Review
IV. Module Closure
V.  Progress Monitoring Record

     The Module Overview contains a brief but succinct paragraph describing the content for that particular module.  It clearly labels which skill will be the focus. They have also included applicable Second Grade Common Core State Standards.  These are listed with their descriptions in a clear and clean format for easy reading.  Objectives, prerequisites, and vocabulary are also included.  Finally they give a materials list; necessary, and optional.  Having all these pointers at your fingertips make it very easy to follow and implement.

     The Instructional Strategies walk the parent through each of the lessons and continues on to explain the use of the activity sheets.  Answers are also included in a completed sample of the worksheet to the right of each page for the convenience of quick marking.  There is use of special symbols to indicate either "guided practice" or "independent practice".  Another useful thing is that just before they start a new objective there is a page that specifically shows a clear shift of skill and lists the objective, an anticipatory set, and they also incorporate teacher modelling .  Each student activity page contains the target skill on the bottom right hand footer.

     The Module Review is quick and painless and a walk through is also given.  Then the test is administered.  Yes, they even provide verbal directions for the parent to the students.  This program wants success, and it will give you as many tools as they can to make this happen.

     Now we come to the Module Closure.  Here they provide bulleted real world connections and activities.

     The final task is to fill in your Progress Monitoring Record form.  I used the form a little differently from it's intended purpose but I'll talk about that a bit further down.  

{ Homeschool Grade 2 lessons }

They have an impressive focus on addition and subtraction, and  they do not neglect to take care to include multiplication and other important strands to their credit.

{ Unit: A }
Focuses on adding and subtracting within 50.

  • Adding and Subtracting within 13
  • Adding and Subtracting within 20
  • Adding and Subtracting within 50
  • Adding with regrouping
  • Subtracting with regrouping
  • Adding and subtracting with regrouping

{ Unit: B }
Focuses on adding and subtracting within 100.

  • Understanding place value
  • Counting and reading to 1000
  • Reading and writing to 1000
  • Understanding multiplication
  • Adding within 100
  • Subtracting within 100

{ Unit: C }
Focuses on adding and subtracting within 1000.

  • Adding and Subtacting multiples of 10 and 100
  • Adding and Subtracting within 100
  • Adding three digit numbers
  • Subtracting three digit numbers
  • Adding and subtracting three digit numbers
  • Reviewing multiplication

{ Unit: D } 
Focuses on Time, Money, Measurement, Data, and Geometry.

  • Telling time
  • Learning about money
  • Representing and interpreting data
  • Measuring, comparing, and estimating length
  • Relating addition and subtraction to length
  • Analyzing shapes

{ Let's Talk Manipulatives }

     We also received a number of manipulatives to use with the main program as well.   They are optional to the program, but I found that I used at least one or more of them in nearly every lesson.

     Student Number Cards.  The basis of TouchMath is the ability to use TouchPoints on numerals to assist your work through any equation.  This eliminated the need to use an abacus and finger work.  The number cards come in a handy packet of 10.  Each page is perforated for easy separation.  One side shows the counting order of the TouchPoints.  The other side just shows the TouchPoints on their own.  Use either one, or both sides, depending on the competency and confidence of your child with using the TouchPoints.  The cards are also visually engaging for children. 

     Touch Numerals with Base 10.  These were fun to set up so we could visually see how the numbers were represented with the TouchPoints.  I can't wait for my younger girls to start using the foam numerals now.  The Base 10 turned out to be a very much used item as well.    

     A quick photo of inside the box that we have here at home.  It includes a manual on HOW to use the TouchPoints.  { You may notice that I have some TouchPoint cards in there.   This is because it's a handy place to store the cards - they don't actually come with the box of foam numerals / Base 10 though. }  We just LOVE their Base 10 and use them a LOT.  Did you know that you can even do multiplication with them?

     We also received the Flip Cards.  There are a LOT of cards in each pack.  On the back of each pack there is a skill list and several activities with which to use the cards for.  These are really handy for working on specific skills without the burden of a worksheet and pencil.  This makes for a nice change of sensory.  They are great for mental math too.  We ended up settling on using 20 cards each time as the whole pack was a little too much work in it for one sitting if we also included lesson / worksheet time.  

     We also recieved a copy of their CD Tutor.  This is an awesome addition to their products.  Perfect for children who love computer time.   Use it for fun, additional practice, or for those times when you as the parent need a math lesson break, but still require your child to spend some time doing math.  The quality is excellent too.   I highly recommend it. 

     TouchMath really have produced a complete multisensory program.   There is something for everybody.  

{ How we used it }

1.  Initially we would spend some time on learning the TouchPoints.
2.  Then we would move into the lesson / worksheets.
3.  Then we would move over to doing some flash card work.
4.  If we had time we would also spend some time on the CD tutor.

{ Chloe learning the touch points }

     After the touch points had been learnt the lesson time moved to looking like this:

1.  Do the lesson / worksheets WITH the Base 10 / TouchPoint cards.
2.  Then we would do some flash card work.
3.  Then we could spend some time on the CD tutor if time allowed.

     It does take a little while to learn the touch points, but not too long.  Chloe picked it up super quick and just needed a few days to practice it.

     When implementing this program I did discover that Chloe had some weaknesses with reverse counting, subtraction, and skip counting.  Good to know.  Things we can work on.

     This is how a typical worksheet lesson looked.  I would have my progress monitoring page, instructional strategies for the module, worksheets, and manipulatives available for quick and easy access.

     Let me share with you about how I used the progress monitoring worksheets.  I only had the one student that I was using this program with so what I did is I popped her name on the page and each day we used the program I would write the date and tick off the worksheets that she did.  Some days we would do two separate sessions.  I would also write little comments to myself on the side in the comment section if we added additional practice with manipulatives etc..

     I loved how all the skills are listed across the page. Reviews are tagged in the black.  Post tests are in the grey at the end.  This makes it ideal if you need to report scores, or skills covered, or just want to keep track of what you are doing.  

{ Free Samples }

     TouchMath have a very generous selection of samples from all their units.  Each unit has a download sample on their website.  Just look to the right from the Homeschool Grade 2 main page.

{ What I thought of it }

     I was initially a little overwhelmed by the high academic content, vocabulary, state standard correlations, and set out.  The materials are clearly written for professional teachers and then make shifted for the purpose of homeshooling.  There is no dumbing down at all.  It did take me a little bit of time to feel relaxed with it.  The more I used it, the more I really liked it.  Especially when we were able to use all the manipulatives to complete a skill.

     Overall I quite liked that each page was very child mindful.  The fact that each page was clean, crisp in presentation, and not overcrowded.  The workload is kept at a reasonable amount so as to not over burden or math scare the child.  I also liked that it was not covered in distracting pictures that had no relevance to the subject at hand.  This meant that while it lost it's cuteness appeal it made up for it with getting to the task at hand without any problems.  If you have a child that is easily distracted, a little behind academically, or with a learning disability then this will be a GOOD thing.

     I also loved that they added a little box for where a one would carry over a higher digit like a 10.  That way my daughter never forgot to add it on, or lose it in the process of doing the sum.

     In regard to the money / coins:  The only problem we would have is with the money strand, but this is because we are in Australia, and that is an understandable conflict.  This personally does not bother me or cause any problems.  In fact I think it adds to our lessons because that way Chloe will get to look at and have some understanding of another country's currency.

{ How much does it cost?  }

     Each Unit currently retails for $ 59.95.  Or you can purchase all 4 Units together for $ 199.95.  Manipulatives are an additional cost.

     The more children that you could use this with, the more cost effective it would become.

"Four Units - 24 Modules - One complete program"

     Use it full time, or part time, to target specific skills, or supplement your current program.  It has many applications.  I highly recommend it.

     Thanks for visiting, and don't forget to tour TouchMath for additional information about their products; and check out some other awesome reviews as well.

Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.  All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.


  1. Wonderful, thorough review! Thank you!

  2. Hello Deborah. We are thrilled that you and Chloe enjoyed the program, and are always happy to hear and see ways in which TouchMath positively impacts students! Thank you for the informative write-up and wonderful photos of the program in use in your home. Please let us know if we can be of assistance in the future.

    All the best,
    The TouchMath Team


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