[blindkid] 4th Grade Math and introduction of technology

Bonnie Lucas lucas.bonnie at gmail.com
Fri Feb 6 12:32:30 UTC 2009

Very well put, Carol. We definitely had months of true weeping, whining, 
moaning, screaming, probably some swearing that I was not aware of and we 
did get through those problems. though aubrie is not a lover of math, she 
does mostly A and some B work.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Carol Castellano" <blindchildren at verizon.net>
To: "NFBnet Blind Kid Mailing List,(for parents of blind children)" 
<blindkid at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Thursday, February 05, 2009 1:36 PM
Subject: Re: [blindkid] 4th Grade Math and introduction of technology

>I think the issue probably is the positioning, as you suggest below.  It 
>seems to me that learning how to do math on paper is an additional skill to 
>learning to do it "without looking"--so, mentally or on a computer.  I am 
>willing to guess that the on-paper experience with arithmetic forms the 
>solid foundation for doing algebra and geometry later on.  I would want you 
>son to have the advantage of getting the same level of experience with this 
>as the sighted children in the class.
> I would probably keep the question of whether or not the drill method is 
> good or bad separate from the question of whether or not Na'im should do 
> all his long division on the braille writer.
> Things to consider:
>    * Is the class required to show all their work?  If so, Na'im should 
> show his work, too, whether on paper or using Math Window and taking a 
> picture, as some have suggested.
>    * Does Na'im have an efficient method for setting up the problems that 
> would minimize difficulties with the spatial aspect?  (There's a section 
> on setting up math examples in Bridge to Braille.)
>    * Last but not least...this, too, shall pass!  He won't have this kind 
> of homework forever, thank goodness.  If he can stick it out, then he can 
> grow up and tell his kids how back in his day he had to do TWENTY long 
> division problems EVERY NIGHT (and walk to school up hill both ways, do 
> his homework by candlelight, etc.!)
> Fractions and decimals are not nearly so bad!
> Carol
> At 08:26 PM 2/3/2009, you wrote:
>>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.
>>-----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 
>>the standard "I did that already and I am not doing it again."  Na'im has 
>>problem identifying the  concept of math or the process it takes to get 
>>point A to point B.  The issue is when do we move in the 21st century? 
>>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.
>>blindkid mailing list
>>blindkid at nfbnet.org
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