Research tells us that it is very important for students to develop ‘finger discrimination’ that is, for students to know their fingers really well. In this Atlantic article Jo Boaler shares the importance of using fingers for the brain’s development of numbers, see http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/04/why-kidsshould-use-their-fingers-in-math-class/478053/. Evidence from both behavioral and neuroscience studies shows that when people receive training on ways to perceive and represent their own fingers, they develop better representations of their fingers, which leads to higher mathematics achievement.
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