# The Numeral as a Manipulative

When students can TOUCH the numeral, it makes math concrete. TouchMath is the only math curriculum that uses the numeral as a manipulative. Incorporating this hands-on approach is key to ensuring students have a strong foundation in math.

# The Numeral as a Manipulative

When students can TOUCH the numeral, it makes math concrete. TouchMath is the only math curriculum that uses the numeral as a manipulative. Incorporating this hands-on approach is key to ensuring students have a strong foundation in math.

## Making Math Concrete

Educators have long used concrete manipulatives to support and build conceptual understanding. TouchMath is the only curriculum program that uses a numeral as a manipulative, instantly making a potentially daunting abstract concept into real and concrete action. It’s also a multisensory curriculum that uses seeing, hearing, and touching numerals.
This multi-sensory approach allows students to engage in mathematics visually, tactically, and kinesthetically, at any level of learning.

## A Pathway from Concrete to Representational to Abstract

The TouchMath program is grounded in the Concrete-Representational-Abstract continuum, a sequence of instructional practices and research-based best practices that reflect how most students learn. As students see, say, hear and touch using our signature TouchPoints™ on the numerals, they easily make the connection between the numeral and the quantity it represents.

## In Their Own Words

Amanda Curva is an Instructional Specialist for Exceptional Children in Harnett County Schools in North Carolina. After over a decade of experience in the district, she shifted into this role in the middle of the pandemic, giving her unique insight into what her fellow educators and their students are experiencing in this new environment.
Amanda knew her teachers often struggled with how to transition their students from the concrete to the pictorial (or representational) and then abstract thinking in math. “When students start working on abstract reasoning there can be a huge disconnect. And our teachers often struggle with how to get students to cross that threshold from concrete to abstract.” This can be magnified when teachers are themselves adjusting to virtual and hybrid instruction.
Ensuring students have that strong foundation in concrete mathematical concepts is even more important when considering the need to accelerate learning as students return to fully in-person classrooms. Amanda found that using hands-on resources both for students learning from home, and those in a hybrid environment can have an enormous impact on fighting learning loss. “Making math as hands-on as possible is key. Even though we’re in this virtual realm, adding a physical component makes things concrete for students.”

“I was modeling a lesson with an elementary teacher and one student who had never been exposed to TouchMath before looked up and said to me, ‘I see what we’re doing here. We’re using the TouchPoints to represent the number.’ The fact he was able to make that connection and understand that when he counts, a numeral represents a certain value, was huge. TouchMath has given our students the opportunity to physically grasp the transition from concrete to abstract.”

## We’re Excited to Continue the Conversation

TouchMath is a complete solution — everything you need to teach math as a core curriculum or to supplement your current core for remediation or intervention — from Pre-K to beginning Algebra. Complete the form below to connect with a TouchMath representative, we are happy to walk you through any questions, and can help tailor a custom solution that will help you, and your students conquer math.

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