TouchMath Homeschool Review-1st grade

I won't lie- finding something that Kasey can use for math has been tricky. We started off with Math U See- couple lessons in and we hit a wall and had to put it away. Then we tried using a combination of workbook pages, stuff off the computer, and manipulatives- and I ended up feeling lost and unsure of where to go with her math lessons.

When we contemplated sending Kasey to a private school- we saw they used TouchMath. Kaseys neuropsychologist also mentioned it to me in passing as a good idea. With all of Kaseys challenges- she needed something that helped her learn new concepts, remember them , and stay interested. While I typically try to avoid any program that is Common Core aligned- I heard enough good things about TouchMath from other parents homeschooling special needs kids to make it worth trying.

I took the plunge 2 weeks ago and ordered all 4 units of the 1st grade level of TouchMath (after using their assessments found here. You can buy each unit separately for $47.00 or you can buy all 4 together for $154. I wasn't sure whether to go with Kindergarten or 1st Grade until printing off the assessments and having her go over them- she did extremely well with the Kindergarten level assessment so we ordered the first grade set found here. I also ordered 3 sets of the flip cards (they are currently priced at 7.00 a set in the sales section of their site) and the 3-D Numerals.

So far, I haven't seen anything that really concerns me in regards to this curriculum being common core aligned. HOWEVER, prior to this we've only used non-CCSS aligned stuff so I don't know what the norm is with Common Core Math curriculums.

My favorite part of TouchMath is that the units for each grade level are downloadable and printable- no waiting for them to be shipped to you- and you can print off a page more than once if need be. I decided to print them all off and put them in a binder. I spent a few hours one evening hole punching and putting the papers in binders.

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I started off by just printing Unit A to start with- all the teacher implementation guides went in the binder on the left, while all her activity sheets went in the binder on the right. One thing I did not immediately notice upon downloading all the files- is that for each unit you get 2 files. One where the module guides and teacher instruction are included in between each set of activity sheets, and one where its just all the activity sheets for that unit. I printed all of them out and separated them for Unit A but in the future we will be printing off the activity sheet set on a printer that does double sided printing- and then printing off the instructional strategies separately. That way more pages fit in her binder and they come out in the correct order (my printer isn't the fanciest).

I love the implementation guides- right now in the first section I don't need to refer to them a lot- but they are definitely going to be a valuable asset as I go through the 1st grade work with Kasey. I keep my binder open in front of me while I sit next to her so that if I need help explaining a concept or if I'm confused by something- I can just glance down and see what is needed.
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TouchMath makes a point of adding real world connections with some of the lessons. One of the first lessons in the book had some pictures of elephants on it- and the teacher guide had some little facts about Elephants. Kasey liked listening to me read the fact to her while she wrote out her answers for that page.

TouchMath's 1st grade curriculum is broken down into 4 units:

Unit A: Adding and subtracting within 9
Unit B: Adding and subtracting within 20
Unit C: Adding and subtracting within 100
Unit D: Measurement, time, Data, and Geometry

Each Unit covers multiple topics- for example Unit A covers counting to 120, mastering touchpoints (I love that they do this for each grade level), adding and subtracting within 5, adding within 9, subtracting within 9 and adding and subtracting within 9.

Each Unit Download has an implementation guide (which I will be adding to the binder as we get to each unit), 6 module guides with instructional strategies, 90 activity sheets, 6 assessments (1 per module), Real World connections (which I mentioned above), Answer Keys, Progress Monitoring, and Vocabulary.

Kasey has been greatly enjoying TouchMath so far- we're still working on the counting to 120 section- we do 2-4 pages per day. She already somewhat knew how to count to 100- but gets confused when transitioning from say 79 to 80 and 19 to 20. This review is helping her to solidify what she knows and add to it.

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One way we have been using the 3d Numerals is to help her remember number formation as she works through the first section. She still has some issues with number reversals so its really nice to be able to point to one of the numerals to remind her.

Before I go any further with my review- I want to say I'm highly impressed with these numerals- they are going to last through multiple children for sure! The bright colors make them a hit as well- Kora and Renly were looking at them when they came in the mail and Kora was trying to show Renly which ones she knew.

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This is the 3D numeral for 7 alongside the lesson for mastering touchpoint number 7. It includes the spelling for seven (we are still working on learning the spelling of each number), shows 7 objects, shows the number 7 with those objects as the touchpoints, etc. It really helps make the whole thing more easily understood. The Touchpoint 3D Numerals also come with a CD that contains extra worksheets for use with the touchpoint numerals as well as a Teachers Guide- definitely a great additional resource!

We also have some of the Flip Cards (you can buy each set separately or by unit)
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I bought these three to start with to decide how I felt about them- and went back to the website yesterday and ordered the rest of the First grade Flip Cards.

Overall, we are loving TouchMath. We will be purchasing the Pre-K curriculum for homeschooling as well so that Kora can work alongside her sister (look for a review of that sometime in the next month). We also have ordered the touch shapes,the rest of the Flip Cards for 1st Grade, the textured touchpoint cards, and the additional 1st grade workbooks (to reinforce addition and subtraction concepts). When you make your first purchase you get a code for 10% off your next order of classroom aids.

If you are looking for a software program- they offer tutoring software as well for K-2 as well as Apps for iphone/ipad . There is a interactive whiteboard program available (TouchMath connect Interactive White Board) that can be used on a PC or laptop as well as a whiteboard. It is suitable for use with PreK-Adult.

They offer a free training kit that can be ordered through their website for those who are interested in learning more about the program before ordering. I ordered it prior to purchasing any of their products so I could find out more about it before taking the plunge.