Grade: Elementary
Subject: Mathematics

#1930. Playdough Touch Math

Mathematics, level: Elementary
Posted Wed Aug 30 20:36:40 PDT 2000 by Amy Braun (
Stevenson Elem, Mesa, AZ
Materials Required: two different colors playdough, numbers 0-9 on flash cards with touch math "dots" on them
Activity Time: 30 minutes
Concepts Taught: Touch Math numbers

Distribute 1/4 cup playdough of one color, and 1/4
cup playdough of another color to each student.
Show flash card of each number one at a time and
practice forming the numbers from 0-9. Use one
color for evens and one color for odds. Talk
about how zero isn't even or odd... maybe zero
can be made of both colors. Have children make
a small bump on the number one because one is
worth one. Have them make two small bumps on two
because two is worth two. So forth and so on...
The bumps are meant to eventually help students
add or subtract quickly because they will not have
to out their pencil down to add or subtract.
When they become used to the idea of "touch math",
they will add or subtract by touching their pencil
down on their paper and working quickly without
using their fingers. This playdough activity is
a tactile way to teach this concept before working
only on paper.