[nobe-l] Writing on the board

Ashley Bramlett bookwormahb at earthlink.net
Mon Jan 16 23:56:47 UTC 2017


Congradulations on making it to student teach. I am still considering being 
a paraprofessional or professional working with kids or youth so I'm still 
on the list. I've enjoyed my volunteer work with kids. But when I tried 
elementary ed in undergrad, I was way too discouraged. I graduated with a 
liberal arts degree instead.

I hope you make it through student teaching fine. First graders are usually 
nice and flexible. The upper elementary kids are more rambunctious and may 
focus on your blindness more.

In your own classroom, it will be easier as you can set up the board the way 
you want and it will stay that way as you will be the only one using it. 
Also, you can have more access to sighted assistance if you choose to teach 
with that help using other students or parent volunteers.
Writing on the fly during presenting anything whether its math symbols
or something else is something I've struggled with. I can print alright but 
usually cannot read it back because of my nystagmus.

Here are my thoughts on this. I have some central vision and I can actually 
print letters using dark
ink on a dry erase board. Can you see anything? Do you know what the print 
symbols look like? I think it will be easier if you either can see large 
print or at least know what the symbols look like. I say this because the 
kids can describe what they are writing or take your hand and show you what 
they are writing. But it will not mean anything to you unless you know what 
the symbols look like.

I do not know what vision you have if any, so I'll stick to ideas that work 
without using it.

1. If you know print well and can write clearly, you can just write on the 
board anyways. You can use tape or a ruler to help you make the writing in a 
straight line.
2. Using wiki sticks will work. But might get a little too tedious and time 
consuming to cut the sticks down to the right size.

3. Instead of writing on the board, you can prepare things in advance. You 
can type it out on large poster size paper. If you think you will use it 
multiple times, I like the idea of laminating it. You can label these sheets 
in braille at the top for organization.
4. Prepare the lesson in a powerpoint slide format. Assuming you have access 
to a laptop there or can bring your own, you can simply hook the laptop up 
to a monitor or projector and show the class. I will mention here that a 
college professor used powerpoint in math class. So, this idea is not 
limited to blind teachers.
5. Use premade symbols and numbers. I assume they make  them premade. After 
all there is premade letters and numbers; I would guess there is symbols 
such as <, >, and =.
I am thinking of magnetic or felt letters. Some white boards are magnetic 
and hopefully yours is at school.
The good thing about magnetic symbols is they are raised so you can easily 
feel them, but also large and pretty enough for all to see as they come in 
various colors. Also, magnets move! Since magnets move easily, this gives 
you flexibility to show things or solve a problem a student has on the spot.
6. If you have access to a computer in class that hooks up to a projector, 
maybe you can type out the lesson as you teach assuming you are able to use 
a screen reader.
7. Do you have a braille notetaker such as the braille note?
I have an old notetaker from college days when rehab purchased equipment for 
But newer models of notetakers that are say five years old or less have 
support for nemeth.
If you know nemeth braille and are comfortable writing in a linear way on 
the notetaker, you can use it.
I know not all people are comfortable writing math in a linear way and need 
to write it vertically on a perkins brailler for the spatial layout.
If that is you, then I totally understand.
But if you can use the notetaker, take advantage of that.
You can hook the notetaker up to a monitor to show the class.
This way is actually real helpful to you since you can write on the spot and 
see it in braille for yourself.
You can also easily edit your work because you have the braille display.
8. You can also teach with premade examples already created for you assuming 
the teacher allows this. I had a few math teachers do this and showed the 
class on a projector, so this idea is not just a blind teacher method. Use 
examples from the teacher's edition of the textbook. You can just open the 
book and lay it on a camera for projection if you have such a setup with a 
lcd board. Instead of drawing, I used this method for delivering speeches in 
class. It works well. Just remember to label the sheets you are showing, so 
you know what you are showing them.
Having someone photocopy you pages you need from the teacher's books will 
also work as long as you have something to project it. Most schools have 
this ability.
If the school has old technology, you can also still project things. You can 
copy things onto transparencies andlay the transparency on the machine for 
projection. You probably want to combine this last idea with others so you 
can have more flexibility in teaching rather than just premade examples.
. The danger I see since you are a student teacher in using premade examples 
only is they may doubt your ability to teach. Its already made up for you 
and often steps are explained for you. They may want you to create something 
from scratch. Even if they don't dictate how you teach, too much reliance on 
premade materials may make you look bad. I know sighted teachers do this all 
the time in real teaching. But, its just that people doubt the abilities of 
blind teachers so as a student teacher you want to look real competent and 
not give them reason to doubt you.

If we have more information such as the technology the school has available, 
we might be able to help more with alternate ways of teaching.
Some schools have smart boards which might be useful to you, for instance.

-----Original Message----- 
From: Tara Abella via NOBE-L
Sent: Friday, January 13, 2017 5:49 PM
To: National Organization of Blind Educators Mailing List
Cc: taranabella0 at gmail.com
Subject: [nobe-l] Writing on the board

Hi all,

I am student teaching in first grade and next week I will be completely 
taking over math and spelling. How does everyone handle writing on the dry 
erase board at the front of the room? I will be teaching greater than, less 
than, and equal to, so I need to be able to create problems and show 
examples for the students to see.


Tara Abella

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