[Blindmath] Teaching calculation algorithms to blind students

Li Zhou lzhou.backup at gmail.com
Thu Apr 19 08:52:52 CDT 2012

Hi all,

I want to know more about how elementary general education math
teachers teach the standard algorithms (the vertical procedures used
by sighted students to do addition, subtraction, ..) to students with
complete blindness in inclusive classrooms. Since many general ed.
teachers do not use the abacus or braillewriter, how can they give
blind students direct instruction on calculation algorithms?

Or, the calculation algorithms are left for itinerant TVIs. General
ed. math teachers only use some manipulatives to help students (both
sighted and blind) to understand calculation, probably from 1st to 3th
grade. When it comes to use pencil and paper and standard algorithms
to carry out calculations (more complex problems, probably for 4th or
5th grade students), they do not directly teach blind students. Is
this true?

I was even told that carrying out more complex calculation manually
using standard algorithms is not important any more. As long as
students understand calculation (probably using manipulatives), they
can use calculators. So, even for sighted students, they do not need
to do a lot of calculations using pencil and paper. Is this true?

Thanks a lot.


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