Will finger counting ever go away?

Some “experts” in education think that teaching and practicing rote information, like math facts, is unnecessary.  Just let students do math or do games and they will learn facts well enough to get by.  That is true for a few students, but many students continue to count on their fingers up into junior high and high school if we don’t help them commit these facts to memory!  So the short answer to the question of whether finger counting will ever go away, is “No!” unless we do something.

One of the things that is unique about Rocket Math is that students begin to learn facts well enough so they have instant recall.  By practicing orally with a peer, they are saying the facts and the answers aloud, and from memory, over and over again.  By doing that, students come to the point that, when they say that problem to themselves, the answer pops into their heads without effort, like the words to an advertising jingle.  When the answer occurs to them instantly, they realize they know the answer before they can count on their fingers, and they stop.  This is how finger counting goes away.  Students recall the answer before they have to start counting fingers.  The end of finger counting comes with the kind of daily oral practice that the procedures of Rocket Math provide.

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