Multisensory Materials in K-3 Mathematics: Theory and Practice

Jenny Rains, Robert Durham, Ph.D., Catherine Kelly, Ph.D. University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

Researchers at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs conducted a comprehensive literature review and nationwide survey to ascertain teacher practices and attitudes regarding multisensory materials and supplemental math materials at the elementary school level.

Survey participants included kindergarten through third-grade teachers randomly selected from all elementary schools in the United States. The data supports the following conclusions:

  • 94% of teachers incorporate multisensory techniques into their math lessons often or very often
  • 86% of teachers surveyed who have used TouchMath have or will use it again
  • Teachers perceive supplemental materials and multisensory materials to be appropriate for both general education as well as special education

Furthermore, this research supports the importance of exposing teachers to supplemental materials as part of their training, either in college or in continuing education seminars.

Following the publication of this paper, phase 2 of the study began. It will examine statistics of usage by teachers who responded to the survey.