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Welcome to TouchTimes

In TouchTimes, children use their fingers to multiply. By using two-handed gestures to create their own factors and products, children develop a strong sense of multiplicative relationships. TouchTimes offers two complementary experiences:

graphic The Grasplify World. Here children first create, with the fingers of one hand, some form of unit, and then—through one or more taps of the other hand—scale that unit to a unit of units, a product. The Grasplify world enables experiences of multiplication that go beyond approaches based on additive thinking and repeated addition.
graphic The Zaplify World. Here children create simultaneous bolts of lightning—horizontal from one hand, vertical from another. Orange sparks appear where these bolts cross as a product of the lightning-bolt factors. (These terms may also be displayed numerically.) This dynamic model of multiplication emphasizes the commutative property multiplication and the symmetry of multiplicative factors, and gives learners conceptual and geometric building blocks for understanding multiplicative relationships.

Since TouchTimes displays the product that results from any multiplicative expression, learners focus less on how to compute than on how multiplicative relationships work, and on how, with their hands, to coordinate and combine multiplicative factors into given multiplicative products. Learners also encounter and work with numbers, symbols and equations, and move back and forth between symbolic/numeric forms and more visual, haptic, and tactile representations of multiplicative relationships.

Getting Started

Children benefit from making choices and being in control. TouchTimes encourages exploration and choice-making in an environment that is structured by mathematical rules, but that is not channeled into only narrow opportunities and predetermined outcomes.

One of the best ways to support learners’ experiences with TouchTimes is to encourage this open exploration, while asking them to predict or explain TouchTimes’ responses in different situations. You might try to pose small challenges for them, or to ask them questions about the mathematical challenges and goals they set for themselves. Encourage them to speak as well as to act: talking through one’s own understanding is one of the strongest ways to develop and solidify that understanding.

For instructions and simple, engaging activities you can use with a variety of learners, visit the Grasplify and Zaplify sections of this site.