Grade: other
Subject: Mathematics

#2578. Addition, subtraction, & multiplication

Mathematics, level: other
Posted Mon May 13 17:26:20 PDT 2002 by rick lynn (
"Fingers" and "Instructions at bottom of site
Teacher , Jacksonville, USA
Materials Required: one copy of "Fingers Chart per child"
Activity Time: normal math lesson time
Concepts Taught: tactile method for addition, subtraction, multiplication

I am unable to paste my "Finger Chart onto this screen. However, my "Finger Chart and a copy of these instructions are way at the bottom of my home site. Just bar down to the bottom. Feel free to make copies.
I hope these instructions will help you understand how we can use the Finger Chart to help students with addition, subtraction, and multiplication.

I designed these fingers to help students in grades k-2 and special education learn to add, subtract, and multiply numbers from 1 to 20 and higher. Example for addition: 7 + 5 =, the student places his left finger on the seven (optional) and then moves his right finger or pencil five places to the 10; follows the arrow to the 11; and then counts to 12. For subtraction, the same way: 15 - 8 =, the student places his finger on the fifteen and counts back eight places to the 11; follows the arrow to the 10 and then finishes counting at seven. After a while these become facts. You may have to help some students learn to count correctly by jumping to the next number before starting the count. Some students tend to count one from the beginning number. Also some MOD students may tend to move their fingers from one level to another at first before reaching the end. You can use line draw to make a horizontal line between the numbers if you get this type of problem.

I like these for second grade and yes, some third graders who are developing carrying and borrowing skills while still not sure of the math. This helps in relieving some of the mental work for those students.

I use mental math to teach multiplication to regular education students. However, I make good use of these fingers when teaching special ed students. I find these students, using my fingers, are able to grasp multiplication more easily. An example of teaching this would be, say 5 X 7 =: the students begins counting from one to five. He places his finger on the five and remembers the number. He then places a five on paper. While leaving his finger on the five, he counts up another five, this time beginning from five as he counts from one (counting from one - 6, 7, 8, 9, 10). He writes down the 10 next to the five. He repeats this process until reaching seven and the final answer, 35. I usually teach my students to use the large numbers first when using fingers.

I drew these out the best I could using Microsoft free draw. Try to keep the fingers even. Note that I have placed the top numbers to the right of each finger and the bottom numbers to the left. This helps keep students from going to the wrong number when following the arrowed line. If you use these fingers on the screen, you may have to cut out the written area and expand the drawing to get a full page.

I like these fingers because they can be copied and distributed easily and economically. The students can take them home with them. I especially like not having to use counting chips because the chips tend to become scattered and lost. Also, students using counting chips many times lose count and have to start over or worse, guess when forgetting.
Feel free to make copies
Rick Lynn