How important do you think it is for your students to be able to do mental math? I have a student in 3rd grade who is really, really low (identified with MR). I got her from another school last year. Her IEP goal for math is to get 50 digits correct in 2 minutes on an add/sub. test. The problems on the test are single digit. I tried touch math with her for about 8 weeks, and she just could not pick it up at all- she could do it with the touch math strip in front of her, but would totally forget it if she was just trying to do it without the aide on the test. So I've been teaching her to use her fingers, as this is the only way she can get the problems correct at all. Even this took a lot of direct instruction, because she'd get confused and put the wrong number of fingers out. Her new IEP is due at the end of January and she's now at a point where she can solve the 1 digit add/sub. problems with almost 100% accuracy, but she still uses her fingers. She's a lot quicker than she used to be, but due to the fact that she is still taking the time to use her fingers, she's consistently getting about 20-25 points on her 2 minute test. The only problems she can do mentally are +/- 0. She's been practicing this math every day for almost a year now- I guess I just kind of thought after seeing it that much she'd eventually start to remember at least some of the facts, but she hasn't. I'd really like to move on to things like multiple digit problems with carrying and things like that with her, because we've spent SO much time on this one skill and I know she could do the carrying/multiple digit problems if I still allowed her to use her fingers. So, do you think it's more important to move on to something else, or more important to somehow get her to using mental math? The thing is, I'm really supposed to be working on her IEP goals, and if she can't get at least some mental math down she won't pass her goal as it's just not possible to use fingers and get 50 correct in 2 minutes.