FAQsCompute-A-Color Arthmetic Learning System


The COMPUTE-A-COLOR ® math system … questions, information


Early use is ideal for brain development. The system is appropriate for learning in groups, pairs, tutoring or other. Compute-A-Color materials are useful in the home, pre-school, kindergarten, elementary, for adult basic skill levels and beyond. Mastering number skills using these early concrete materials extends to higher abstract understanding using the same color-code as a ‘bridge'”.

WHY ARE ONLY 4 COLORS USED in this system?

Simple is better. Because there are only four primes (2, 3, 5 7) in the range of 1-10, only four colors are needed to code these four primes, and ‘match' their multiples (composites) in the same color(s). The child can see, feel, stack, compare and ‘match' numerals in thickness and color.


Sensory learning helps understanding . As children see and feel which 1-10 numerals are thicker and which are thinner, they can fit them into a graduated color-coded line. As they stack and unstack numerals, as they self-discover and self-correct math facts and concepts, a child's understanding, confidence, enjoyment and proficiency grows. Why feeling? A kid can feel and place numerals 1-10 in a line of proper order and proudly say “I did it all by myself!”


The Compute-A-Color code can serve as visual language for persons with hearing problems, or limited English proficiency. The color code illuminates the symbolic pattern and relationships of number without verbal implementation. Compute-A-Color does not need the burden of language, nor does it need translation. In other words, COLOR itself SPEAKS as conceptual language. We can forget many facts, but a concept that is understood is not forgotten. “I get it!” ®


Compute-A-Color math respects the challenge of Robbie Case (1976) who states that oversimplified strategies are needed in curriculum design…that design should be simple , familiar and logical …and minimize the load on working memory. The Compute-A-Color math system meets this challenge with the help of COLOR. The Compute-A-Color design is simple (only four colors are used); familiar (children understand color); and logical (the color-code visualizes number relationships.) This vital concept of prime/composite relationships recurs throughout the math system with COLOR being the apparent ‘matchmaker'.


Compute-A-Color materials are useful across a broad range of age, skill levels, cultures or circumstances. The simple color-code becomes visual communication for persons of any spoken language. Color response transcends the usual boundaries of age, intellect, language, culture and circumstances as totally as any sensory representation.

Many students who fail to master abstract number concepts well enough to add, subtract, multiply or divide may especially benefit from using these sensory ‘tools'. The concept of color coded to number extends from early math experiences to the whole of mathematics.

© Ann Preus 1978 (Compute-A-Color® copyrights 1978 to present)

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