[blindkid] 4th Grade Math and introduction of technology

Patricia Renfranz dblair2525 at msn.com
Wed Feb 4 03:16:31 UTC 2009

Sounds awfully tedious.
In 4th grade, my daughter used an abacus for computation and a Perkins
Brailler to record answers.

In 7th grade, she is still using a Perkins for all of her algebra work. We
are planning on trying software called Nemetex that handles linear (so, not
long division as would be set up in print) math in a way to go from
BrailleNote to inkprint. However, our issues with technology, learning
another piece of software, etc... make us leery of moving in this direction
too quickly. 

Setting up math on the computer is not always easy - maybe for a division
problem it is straightforward, I don't know. For more complicated math
people use Math ML and such. It's doubly difficult to get that compatible
with accessibility software. When I spent a little time on the math
listserv, I thought, this is going to have to come later.

Maybe a compromise would be to use the "Math window" on a problem or 2, to
show the teacher he knows how to set up a division problem, then have him
gain the abacus skills so that the computation is less cumbersome? In the
meantime, two resources are Susan Osterhaus at TSBVI and Gaylen Kapperman at
Northern Illinois University, who may better be able to steer you towards a
technology-based way to get through this. You might also pose the question
on the NFB's math listserv.

Good luck,
dblair2525 at msn.com

> From: Tene Gibson <g_tene305 at yahoo.com>
> Reply-To: "NFBnet Blind Kid Mailing List, (for parents of blind children)"
> <blindkid at nfbnet.org>
> Date: Tue, 3 Feb 2009 17:26:34 -0800 (PST)
> To: "NFBnet Blind Kid Mailing List, (for parents of blind children)"
> <blindkid at nfbnet.org>
> Subject: Re: [blindkid] 4th Grade Math and introduction of technology
> That I understand - as far as regarding the problem set up - I understand the
> need to know this.  My issue is - Is there an easier assistive technology to
> do this on.  I am not looking for an easier way to get the answer - I want
> that concept learned as with the rest of his class.  I am looking at a
> workflow point of view. Last I heard the new Perkins is still on backorder -
> so we are still dealing with the oldy goldy - clunky hard key machine. Like
> does it make sense for Na'im to work thru the problem on his computer using
> Duxbury and a word document and to print it out using an embosser? Are there
> cons with this method and what are they? Are they just positional issues?
> Na'im is given 20 long division problems a night sometimes  - 2 per page may
> fit barring any mistakes. 
> ________________________________
> From: Debra Baxley <debrabaxley at bellsouth.net>
> To: "NFBnet Blind Kid Mailing List, (for parents of blind children)"
> <blindkid at nfbnet.org>
> Sent: Tuesday, February 3, 2009 10:47:18 AM
> Subject: Re: [blindkid] 4th Grade Math and introduction of technology
> Somehow, doing Math with the Perkins brailler causes the concepts to be
> understood better because of the physical movement on the page.  Because I
> did Math with a Perkins brailler, I can now type a Math problem in print
> because I understand the formatting so well. 
> Debra
> -----Original Message-----
> From: blindkid-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:blindkid-bounces at nfbnet.org] On
> Behalf Of Tene Gibson
> Sent: Tuesday, February 03, 2009 7:50 AM
> To: NFBnet Blind Kid Mailing List,(for parents of blind children)
> Subject: Re: [blindkid] 4th Grade Math and introduction of technology
> How do we lessen the frustration?  Although I may agree some repitition, I
> believe that in some circles that the "drilling" method, even in children
> with sight, has been proven defunct.  Lord knows both of my children hold to
> the standard "I did that already and I am not doing it again."  Na'im has no
> problem identifying the  concept of math or the process it takes to get from
> point A to point B.  The issue is when do we move in the 21st century? When
> do we grasp what we have available in the schools as far as technology is
> concerned?  I learned how to start a fire by rubbing sticks, but I still
> prefer matches or a lighter.
> Tene
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