Questions about Tap & Tally™
Q: Why Tap & Tally™?
A: Tap & Tally™ accounts for different learning styles, in particular, the visual and tactile kinesthetic, but at no loss to the auditory. It ensures equity along with excellence in empowering every elementary school student with the number facts within days of their classmates—not months or years. It hugely reduces the risk of failure and the loss of self-confidence and self-esteem that arise from not knowing or being unsure of some of the number facts.
Q: What is different about learning the number facts with Tap & Tally™ versus just memorizing them?
A: With Tap & Tally™, students internalize the number facts: they know they know them. When students work at memorizing the number facts, they hope they know them.
Q: Is Tap & Tally™ developmentally appropriate for young children?
A: Yes. It is developmentally appropriate for young children because it is based on counting. Even most 4-year-olds are good at counting (Avesar and Dickerson 1987; Fuson 1988; Sophian 1987).
Q: If I use Tap & Tally™, do I have to stop using flashcards, speed drills, and worksheets for teaching the number facts?
A: No. However, the standard of knowing the number facts from memory alone needs to be broadened to include knowing how to figure out a fact if forgotten or not sure.
Q: Is it advisable to teach mental math along with Tap & Tally™?
A: Yes. Mental math should be taught in conjunction with Tap & Tally™. Both are about figuring out the number facts that don’t automatically pop into one’s mind. Knowing both, students can check results with one method with the other.
Q: Isn’t Tap & Tally™ just like counting on your fingers?
A: In that it is based on counting, it is reminiscent of counting on one’s fingers, but it is more like using a dictionary. When does one look up the meaning of a word? When one doesn’t know it or isn’t sure of it. When does one quit looking it up? When one knows it. This analogy is the basis for the no-guessing rule in Mad Minute Primer: “If you know it, write it down. If you don’t or aren’t sure of it, figure it out. Don’t guess.”
Q: Isn’t Tap & Tally™ a crutch?
A: No. If a student doesn’t remember a number fact, then it is a problem for the student, and Tap & Tally™ is an appropriate strategy for solving the problem.
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