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Multisensory Teaching Tool for Teaching Math with Tactile Methods

About.com Rating 5 Star Rating
User Rating 2 Star Rating (2 Reviews)


Updated June 25, 2014

Mother using digital tablet to help daughter with arithmetic
Blend Images/Ariel Skelley/Vetta/Getty Images

The Bottom Line

Touch Math has been used in schools for many years, and is quite successful for students who have difficulty learning math through language-based methods and memorization of facts. Once learned, it is adaptable to many important life skills such as balancing checkbooks, calculating costs at the grocery, and counting money and making change. The program can be used with all ages, and the publishers offer a program designed for adult learners as well.


  • Touch Math teaches students how to perform math operations - it is effective.
  • This method frees students from using a calculator for basic math skills.
  • Touch Math uses multisensory, tactile methods to teach diverse learners with hands-on learning style
  • Touch Math makes math concepts "visible" to students who have difficulty with the language of math.
  • Site offers free materials to try the program before you buy it.


  • Touch Math is pricey, making it a bit on the high side for home use.
  • Not really a con, but regular classroom teachers must be open to alternative methods-as they should.
  • Use in regular classroom will initially require additional teacher support.


  • With this program, students with learning disabilities learn to touch points on numbers to perform operations.
  • Students memorize the points and patterns and use them to perform addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
  • Visual models are gradually faded as students internalize the method. Eventually, they no longer need the visual supports.
  • It is effective for LD students, adults, students with autism, and students with other language processing disorders.
  • The program offers workbooks and sheets, videos, and hands-on manipulatives such as foam numbers with raised touch points.

Guide Review - Multisensory Teaching Tool for Teaching Math with Tactile Methods

Overall, Touch Math is an effective method for teaching basic mathematical operations to students who struggle with math or have specific learning disabilities in math such as dyscalculia. Having been a math phobic child myself, I think Touch Math's colorful and engaging materials and the overall ease will appeal to teachers, parents, and students who might otherwise be intimidated by traditional math teaching materials.
User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 3 out of 5
Not Enough Information, Member Duckminifarmer

I used a touch-math-type system in first grade in the 1970s. There was no ""program""- I just ""saw"" 3 points on the number 3; 4 on 4, etc. You don't need an expensive system to do this. Just get some large cardboard numbers and put velcro on them for tactile. As for the other reviewer; I appreciate her opinion, but she is speaking like a natural mathematician and using jargon. It would be like me (a historian) saying that all 5th grade children should have to write a 20 page, fully-footnoted paper on the causes of the Civil War using only primary sources because this is ""real"" history. There are some LD children who cannot, and may NEVER be able to think in mathematical abstractions. If these children can do math another way, then by no means should it be denied them. For other children, I think a method like this will stop at some point; it should NOT replace learning the math facts or concepts for most learners.

3 out of 3 people found this helpful.

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