An Autism Diary

A day in the life of David Hartley

Math Made Visual

10178140_592652097488017_610614142_nThe pictures below are a sampling of the adaptation work I did with the Touch Points math system to help my boys grasp it. You can visit the album I made on our facebook page to see more. ๐Ÿ™‚

Both of my boys struggled with math so a new friend I found here locally that homeschools told me about the Touch Points Math system. My boys are extreme visual learners though so they needed more visual friendly references to refer to (like where I made the three color system to highlight the different parts and took out the extra numbers which were confusing my boys) and less rote memory stuff (like having to memorize special counting orders), but the Touch Points system still held plenty of potential so I took the time to make the simple adjustments so my boys could succeed with it too. And succeed they definitely are doing!

If you have a strong visual based learner too, feel free to use my work here to make your own adaptations too. I am sharing it here in hopes it can help some of you too like it has helped with my boys. ๐Ÿ™‚ I even included the notes from teaching the boys how to break up bigger problems (“column power!”) and how to handle numbers that carry over to the next column (“jump overs” is what my boys ended up naming them because they have to help the number “jump over the line” ^_^ ).

Everything in the adapted system is color coded.  You can choose your own color scheme of course, but in our case I found some decorative note cards on sale at Wal-mart and then got out my colored pens.  I made the numbers blue, the dots pink, and the rings purple.  Making for three very different visual references for the boys to take in making it easier for them to take note of the concept being shown.  Zero does not have any dots or rings (touch points) because Zero doesn't add or take away from anything. :)  Seen here is the number 7 which uses both dots and rings to provide the right amount of touch points.

Everything in the adapted system is color coded. You can choose your own color scheme of course, but in our case I found some decorative note cards on sale at Wal-mart and then got out my colored pens. I made the numbers blue, the dots pink, and the rings purple. Making for three very different visual references for the boys to take in making it easier for them to take note of the concept being shown. Zero does not have any dots or rings (touch points) because Zero doesn’t add or take away from anything. ๐Ÿ™‚ Seen here is the number 7 which uses both dots and rings to provide the right amount of touch points.

The back of the cards, I made the number again but with out any touch points so the boys could get practice seeing it both ways and remembering on their own where the dots and rings are on the different numbers.  You might also notice that I spelled the word out for the number on the bottom for the back of the card too. When showing my boys these cards, I had them say the number, show me the touch points (if any), trace the number with their finger, and then spell out the word below with the command "now spell the number and read it". By adding that aspect in, I am hoping to help reinforce some of their word recognition skills and spelling help too.

On the back of the cards, I made the number again but without any touch points so the boys could get practice seeing it both ways and remembering on their own where the dots and rings are on the different numbers. You might also notice that I spelled the word out for the number on the bottom for the back of the card too. When showing my boys these cards, I had them say the number, show me the touch points (if any), trace the number with their finger, and then spell out the word below with the command “now spell the number and read it”. By adding that aspect in, I am hoping to help reinforce some of their word recognition skills and spelling help too.

This, and the following picture, are examples from the flash cards I made for the single digit math with touch points. The boys advanced through the system quicker than anyone expected so I don't have these in non-touch point version yet. I did grab a pack of regular flash cards from the store to practice that with them though. :)

This, and the following picture, are examples from the flash cards I made for the single digit math with touch points. The boys advanced through the system quicker than anyone expected so I don’t have these in non-touch point version yet. I did grab a pack of regular flash cards from the store to practice that with them though. ๐Ÿ™‚

Math flash card example1

Once the boys mastered the numbers, touch point locations, and single digit adding, I started teaching them how to break bigger problems up into manageable ones by using what we like to call "Column power!"  :)  These are the notes from my lesson with the boys. They are the ones that found the answers to all of these problems.  ^_^

Once the boys mastered the numbers, touch point locations, and single digit adding, I started teaching them how to break bigger problems up into manageable ones by using what we like to call “Column power!” ๐Ÿ™‚
These are the notes from my lesson with the boys. They are the ones that found the answers to all of these problems. ^_^

"Carry Over" (officially dubbed "Jump Over!" now by my kids lol) is the concept we are currently working on. Building on the touch points, and the column power lessons, I told them each column only has room for one number and we have to start with the number in the last column first when doing a problem and when writing an answer. That led to the question of then what do we do with the extra number when the answer is two numbers big?? Well, we help it "jump over" to the next column and add it in there. ^_^

“Carry Over” (officially dubbed “Jump Over!” now by my kids lol) is the concept we are currently working on. Building on the touch points, and the column power lessons, I told them each column only has room for one number and we have to start with the number in the last column first when doing a problem and when writing an answer. That led to the question of then what do we do with the extra number when the answer is two numbers big?? Well, we help it “jump over” to the next column and add it in there. ^_^

Joshua's first math test which he took after just a few hours learning the touch points math system (adapted of course as you see in my other slides ;) ).  He aced both sides of the test!  This is the front side and the next picture is the back and doesn't have the touch points included.  He did this by himself. ^_^

Joshua’s first math test which he took after just a few hours learning the touch points math system (adapted of course as you see in my other slides ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). He aced both sides of the test! The front side had the touch points included and the back did not.ย He did this by himself. ^_^

This is a picture of David's first test. He struggled a bit more than Joshua but mainly because he couldn't stay focused and kept disconnecting and flapping. Sometimes out of excitement, sometimes out of nerves. He aced the touch points side though (as you see here). :)  I had to help him on two of these (as you can see in the notes I wrote in) which is why he has only an A- on this side. He got everything else on his own though, including the bonus!  ^_^  And my help mainly consisted of reminding him to breath, repeatedly calming him down, re-focusing him during his many disconnects, and in the two spots you see me note the help, I had to quickly review the touch point spots with him.  Still, David did really good and I couldn't be more proud of my boy. ^_^

This is a picture of David’s first test. He struggled a bit more than Joshua but mainly because he couldn’t stay focused and kept disconnecting and flapping. Sometimes out of excitement, sometimes out of nerves. He aced the touch points side though (as you see here). ๐Ÿ™‚ ย I had to help him with two of the problems on the back (as you can see in the notes I wrote in) which is why he has only an A- on that side. He got everything else on his own though, including the bonus! ^_^ And my help mainly consisted of reminding him to breath, repeatedly calming him down, re-focusing him during his many disconnects, and in the two spots you see me note the help, I had to quickly review the touch point spots with him.
Still, David did really good and I couldn’t be more proud of my boy. ^_^

.

I tried to take video of the boys too but I can’t get those to load. ย  Please feel free to let me know your thoughts on all this if you want. ย I hope that these simple adaptions can help others like they have helped my two boys. ๐Ÿ™‚ ย Please do check out the original Touch Points Math system too to find out more about how it works and all they have to offer. ย I even saw a link on there that led to lessons for teaching money counting! ๐Ÿ˜€

 

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