Kuovonne Posted September 2, 2010 Share Posted September 2, 2010 I discourage my daughter from counting or doing addition on her fingers. I want her to be able to do simple addition without counting on her fingers. On the other hand, I've been having her use her fingers when skip counting. Do the problems associated with counting/adding with fingers also apply to skip-counting and multiplying with fingers? Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

ZeldaRules Posted September 2, 2010 Share Posted September 2, 2010 How old is your daughter? There is nothing wrong with using fingers to add or subtract, all that matters is that they get the answer. When your child learns the addition or subtraction facts well enough to memorize them, she will quit using her fingers to add and subtract. It is a natural part of learning math. I personally never discourage using fingers to get an answer. What matters is that they know what tools to use to help them get the answer. At least she isn't using a calculator. :) Others may disagree, this is soley my opinion. :) Good luck. Vicki Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

MangoMama Posted September 2, 2010 Share Posted September 2, 2010 ITA with Vicki for every reason she mentioned. :) Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Kuovonne Posted September 2, 2010 Author Share Posted September 2, 2010 She already has her addition and subtraction facts memorized. Our math program discourages the use of counting. Before she had her addition/subtraction facts memorized our math program encouraged the used of manipulatives and mental strategies instead of counting on fingers. I prefer manipulatives to fingers because I think it is easier to drop the manipulatives when the child is ready, but a child might persist in using fingers (much) longer than really necessary. She doesn't have her multiplication facts memorized yet. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

nansk Posted September 2, 2010 Share Posted September 2, 2010 Our math program discourages the use of counting....encouraged the used of manipulatives and mental strategies instead of counting on fingers. I can understand why it teaches mental strategies, but why does it does it discourage the use of fingers? Fingers are God-given manipulatives. The abacus beads are also manipulatives, so why one and not the other? Won't the abacus become a "crutch" for some kids? Don't you allow your dd to use it as long as she needs it? I prefer manipulatives to fingers because I think it is easier to drop the manipulatives when the child is ready, but a child might persist in using fingers (much) longer than really necessary.. How about situations where a child still needs some manipulative and does not have an abacus handy? For our dd atleast, she will take tests/exams in school, so, in addition to using the C-rods, number line and abacus, we also taught her to use her fingers to add/subtract. Where we grew up, children were taught to use the horizontal lines on the fingers, which allowed us to count higher than ten. It was very "handy" but we stopped using them once we memorized the math facts. :001_smile: Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Kuovonne Posted September 2, 2010 Author Share Posted September 2, 2010 I can understand why it teaches mental strategies, but why does it does it discourage the use of fingers? Fingers are God-given manipulatives. My math program doesn't discourage the use of fingers completely. But it does discourage *counting* on fingers to do addition/subtraction. The abacus beads are also manipulatives, so why one and not the other? Won't the abacus become a "crutch" for some kids? Don't you allow your dd to use it as long as she needs it? It's easier to drop the abacus, c-rods, or other manipulatives when they aren't needed any more. DD always has access to the abacus, c-rods, and other manipulatives when doing math. However, sometimes the fact that she would have to walk across the room to get the manipulatives is enough to encourage her to try doing the math mentally. Then she realizes she can do it without the manipulatives. Then she stops bothering to get the abacus / c-rods. If she learned to add on her fingers, her fingers are always there, and there wouldn't be that little push to try doing it on her own. If I taught her to add on her fingers, she might drop it on her own. But then again, she might not, and I'm not willing to take that risk for simple addition/subtraction. How about situations where a child still needs some manipulative and does not have an abacus handy? For our dd atleast, she will take tests/exams in school, so, in addition to using the C-rods, number line and abacus, we also taught her to use her fingers to add/subtract. Well, we homeschool, so I don't see DD being in a situation where she would need a manipulative but not have access to one. The only time she is required to do math is during lessons when manipulatives are available. If she wants to do a math problem on her own time when manipulatives aren't available she doesn't have to do the problem. As for tests, I see them as diagnostic tools. If she can't do the math without the manipulative, and the test forbids external manipulatives, then I'm okay with her failing the test. I guess my question is directed only to those who also discourage counting on fingers to do addition/subtraction. If you discourage counting on fingers for addition/subtraction, do you also discourage skip-counting on fingers for multiplication/division? Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Pata Posted September 2, 2010 Share Posted September 2, 2010 My dd didn't really use her fingers for addition/subtraction counting as we always had manipulatives available. We do however use fingers for skip counting. It helps her to keep her place so to speak. We also use manipulatives and we've made a skip counting book that she can use to help her with her mult/div facts. Hope that helps! Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

nmoira Posted September 2, 2010 Share Posted September 2, 2010 Do the problems associated with counting/adding with fingers also apply to skip-counting and multiplying with fingers?Do you mean holding or putting down fingers for each number while skip counting (e.g. when counting by 3's, 3 fingers at 9, 5 fingers at 15, etc.)? I don't think that's a problem. It's even a convenient way to see how many skips it takes to get a particular number. I do allow the use of fingers for calculations, but only when it makes sense and there's no counting involved. I see no different between, for example, partitioning 10's with fingers or with the alabacus or C-Rods. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Kuovonne Posted September 2, 2010 Author Share Posted September 2, 2010 We do however use fingers for skip counting. It helps her to keep her place so to speak. I don't think that's a problem. It's even a convenient way to see how many skips it takes to get a particular number. Thanks, that's what I wanted to know. I'll go ahead and have her skip-count on her fingers until she has her multiplication facts memorized. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

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