Just curious to find out the collective opinion on teaching children to count on their fingers for addition and subtraction. I personally try to get the kids to a point where they can mentally figure out the equation. I teach using a number line and manipulatives and try to get them to think the problem through before resorting to counting on their fingers. I've seen 3rd and 4th graders still doing it and I think if you start out that way, you don't learn you can do the problem in your head and the basic math facts do not become ingrained because you are always counting - the way you might copy an address every time you write it and never commit it to memory. I have a parent who is complaining because her child did not do well on a recent assessment and claimed it was because I didn't let her count on her fingers. Now, I never say anything during the test, but I do discourage that practice during everyday activities. To me, I am looking for mastery on an assessment and if you have to count on your fingers, you have not mastered the objective. Besides, I would think it would really slow them down in 1st Grade for the timed adding tests. Anyway, I value your opinions, just wondering what you think.