[Blindmath] Blindmath Digest, Vol 69, Issue 13

Maylene Bird maylenebird at gmail.com
Fri Apr 20 22:02:14 CDT 2012


I teach high school math in a school for the blind and I see the results of
students allowed to use calculators for math at a very young age-- they
can't do anything simple without the calculator and this slows them down to
a point that they can't do the math at an adequate speed and are never very
good at math.  They also do not understand the more fundamental parts of
how math works- finding common denominators, calculating simple problems
combining positive and negative numbers, etc.  At the algebra level we
expect them to be able to do those simple things quickly and easily.  If
they can't, they frequently do not end up passing the class.

Students in elementary math need to learn how to do the math by hand.
There is a great tool to show a braille user fairly quickly how
calculations are laid out visually and helps them to understand things like
numerator and denominator, finding common denominators, etc.  It's the
product called Math Window.  Hands-on manipulatives to show equal fractions
are great too for getting the concept across, but at some point it is good
for them to write it down using a braille writer (or the like) so that they
can look at it immediately.

Dr. Nemeth told me that he learned his math with sighted children when he
went to school and that he values learning how it works visually because he
could always understand what the teacher was teaching the other sighted
kids, and he was not left behind.  We as teachers just have to be ready to
show a multitude of ways to understand the math.  But in my opinion, the
basic math skills are ciritical to getting to the next level and a
calculator should not be handed to an elementary aged kid.

Sincerely,
Maylene Bird

On Thu, Apr 19, 2012 at 12:00 PM, <blindmath-request at nfbnet.org> wrote:

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> Today's Topics:
>
>   1. Teaching calculation algorithms to blind students (Li Zhou)
>   2. Re: Teaching calculation algorithms to blind students
>      (bente at casilenc.com)
>   3. Re: Teaching calculation algorithms to blind students
>      (Susan Mooney)
>
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Message: 1
> Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2012 08:52:52 -0500
> From: Li Zhou <lzhou.backup at gmail.com>
> To: blindmath at nfbnet.org
> Subject: [Blindmath] Teaching calculation algorithms to blind students
> Message-ID:
>        <CAJX++jgka0-okDhSma0_m5=7=uLncQK+3=tAZ9pEOhdQQgEHcw at mail.gmail.com
> >
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
>
> 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.
>
> lz
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 2
> Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2012 10:17:34 -0400
> From: bente at casilenc.com
> To: "Blind Math list for those interested in mathematics"
>        <blindmath at nfbnet.org>
> Subject: Re: [Blindmath] Teaching calculation algorithms to blind
>        students
> Message-ID:
>        <f31cb547f12296a75524d45648cfa67f.squirrel at emailmg.globat.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain;charset=iso-8859-1
>
> Li,
>
>   I am a math learning specialist at a community college and here is my
> opinion.  I would not recommend allowing any student to rely on only a
> calculator.  Eventually as children progress through our elementary,
> middle, high school, and college the mathematics becomes more complex.
> Students need to solve multi step problems.  They must have a way of
> keeping track of their progress toward a solution.  For sighted
> students that is paper and pencil (using the calculator to do the
> computation).  For blind students that is either Nemeth Braille code or
> technology.  Some students use computers with math software that can be
> read back using JAWS, a screen reader.  Calculators are good for
> computation, but they should be a tool that is used as necessary, not
> something to replace everything else.
>
> Bente J. Casile
> Math Learning Specialist
> Disability Support Services
> Wake Technical Community College
> Raleigh, NC
>
>
>
>
>
>
>  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.
> >
> > lz
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Blindmath mailing list
> > Blindmath at nfbnet.org
> > http://nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/blindmath_nfbnet.org
> > To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for
> > Blindmath:
> >
> http://nfbnet.org/mailman/options/blindmath_nfbnet.org/bente%40casilenc.com
> >
>
>
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 3
> Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2012 10:36:28 -0400
> From: Susan Mooney <susanannemooney at gmail.com>
> To: Blind Math list for those interested in mathematics
>        <blindmath at nfbnet.org>
> Subject: Re: [Blindmath] Teaching calculation algorithms to blind
>        students
> Message-ID:
>        <CAOh4ie9eecyCw9Oku5-iZ-FXrzMTUrD14ND9B0js8J45ZLa5GQ at mail.gmail.com
> >
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
>
> Thank you, Bente Casile!!!!!
>
> SM
>
> On Thu, Apr 19, 2012 at 10:17 AM, <bente at casilenc.com> wrote:
>
> > Li,
> >
> >   I am a math learning specialist at a community college and here is my
> > opinion.  I would not recommend allowing any student to rely on only a
> > calculator.  Eventually as children progress through our elementary,
> > middle, high school, and college the mathematics becomes more complex.
> > Students need to solve multi step problems.  They must have a way of
> > keeping track of their progress toward a solution.  For sighted
> > students that is paper and pencil (using the calculator to do the
> > computation).  For blind students that is either Nemeth Braille code or
> > technology.  Some students use computers with math software that can be
> > read back using JAWS, a screen reader.  Calculators are good for
> > computation, but they should be a tool that is used as necessary, not
> > something to replace everything else.
> >
> > Bente J. Casile
> > Math Learning Specialist
> > Disability Support Services
> > Wake Technical Community College
> > Raleigh, NC
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >  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.
> > >
> > > lz
> > >
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > Blindmath mailing list
> > > Blindmath at nfbnet.org
> > > http://nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/blindmath_nfbnet.org
> > > To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for
> > > Blindmath:
> > >
> >
> http://nfbnet.org/mailman/options/blindmath_nfbnet.org/bente%40casilenc.com
> > >
> >
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Blindmath mailing list
> > Blindmath at nfbnet.org
> > http://nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/blindmath_nfbnet.org
> > To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for
> > Blindmath:
> >
> >
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> >
>
>
>
> --
> Be Here now.  Be someplace else later.  Is that so complicated? (Zen
> Judaism)
>  <http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/875661.Rumi>
>
>
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> End of Blindmath Digest, Vol 69, Issue 13
> *****************************************
>



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