[blindkid] Fwd: [LCA] math question
hpscheffer at aol.com
hpscheffer at aol.com
Mon May 21 15:30:29 UTC 2012
Glad to read about your point of view Steve, so no flames from me. Not all kids learn the same way, some ways may be good for some and not others. We all have to keep an open mind.
I give you kudos on posting even though your belief may not be too popular, but I'm with you.
Heidi
-----Original Message-----
From: Steve Jacobson <steve.jacobson at visi.com>
To: Blind Kid Mailing List, (for parents of blind children) <blindkid at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Mon, May 21, 2012 10:36 am
Subject: Re: [blindkid] Fwd: [LCA] math question
I may get some flames for saying this, but I feel there is sometimes too much
emphasis on abacus
instruction. There was a good time and place for it, before the availability of
talking calculators
and/or computers, and I do see that the abacus might be a useful tool as a
scratchpad in some cases. In
short, I don't think your kids have really missed anything, and it takes time
away from other endeavors.
The process of really getting good at the abacus involves memorizing particular
processes and to some
degree mechanical patterns, and it's strength is to automate the process of
calculation and not
necessarily to understand mathematical processes. I gather that Arielle used
one and that it was
helpful, and maybe she can comment more on this, but I just have trouble seing
kids using valuable time
with a resource teacher using an abacus rather than working on other skills. I
would really be open to
understand better what it is I don't see about this, though, since I've
encountered some very strong
feelings in the other direction. I should probably add that I did learn the
abacus many years ago and
got pretty good at it, but perhaps there are other ways it can be used of which
I'm not aware.
Math does bring about challenges for blind kids. Sometimes it is necessary to
look at how to teach a
concept without getting hung up on using the exact approach used for sighted
kids. Some kids are going
to be able to bypass some of the visual concepts while others may be helped by
it. For example, it is
going to be enough for some kids to remember they need to carry the one and add
it to the next column to
the left while it might be necessary for some kids to write the "1" above the
next column to the left.
I don't think there is a magic answer, unfortunately.
The basics of math, how we add, subtract, multiply and divide, are being taught
in different ways now,
depending upon the school. Some of these new approaches are helpful to blind
kids and some are not. To
take a simple example, my kids were exposed to breaking down addition problems
from left to right in a
way that worked well for them. In other words 155 plus 368 is 155 plus 300 plus
sixty plus eight. Of
course, this actually avoids the issue of carrying, and does no good if a class
is expected to show
their work in a traditional format on a test. I don't think that using a
brailler for math is
necessarily a bad way to go, but it may not be the way a blind child will do
math forever depending upon
his or her skills, how the school teaches math, and what happens with
technology. Ted Henter had a math
program that seemed to me to be a pretty good teaching tool, but I only used it
enough to get familiar
with it and don't have any experience with it as a teaching tool not being a
teacher myself. Have
others had experience with this program? The name escapes me at the moment but
I can probably find it
if this doesn't ring a bell for anyone.
Best regards,
Steve Jacobson
On Sun, 20 May 2012 22:26:19 -0700, DrV wrote:
>My kids are in 4th & 9th grade & do virtually all their math using the
>Perkins.
>They unfortunately never really learned the abacus, so I can't comment on
>that.
>Brailling it out is nice, because they can line up their problems &
>answers & can follow their work & check steps if needed. They can do their
>scratch work on the side & see that too.
>They use the BrailleNote for virtually everything other than math.
>In middle school & high school we just left on brailler in the Math
>classroom. (They each have on at home too).
>Both use a plexiglass-type stand over the Perkins at school & home on the
>top of which they place their embossed math book.
>It works well.
>We always write into the IEP that we need to get a print copy of the
>"teachers edition" of the math books - that is the version that has the
>answers in it (a blessing as the math gets more complicated). That way we
>can easily check their answers. We have them redo the problems they get
>wrong.
>Eric
>On 5/19/12 3:04 PM, "Richard Holloway" <rholloway at gopbc.org> wrote:
>>Similar situation here-- the brailler works best for our soon-to-be 4th
>>grader. Kendra is as skilled a BrailleNote user as you will find,
>>especially for her age. She's quite good with an abacus. We've used
>>things like the math window product. They all have their uses, but so
>>far, when it comes to math, the braillewriter gives the best access to
>>the entire math problem at once. It is just hard to deal with large
>>problems with access to only one line at a time, and yes, the math window
>>does solve this and work really well as a learning tool, but in practice
>>there are so many "fiddly bits" that it doesn't seem to be usable to
>>solve problems in much quantity.
>>
>>Richard
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>On May 19, 2012, at 5:50 PM, Bonnie Lucas wrote:
>>
>>> My daughter, Aubrie, has used a Brailler since the beginning of math.
>>>When I
>>> try to talk to her about other options, she refuses because she really
>>> believes that having multiple lines to do her work is the only way to
>>>go. I
>>> taught her how to set up problems and work them when she was in about
>>>third
>>> grade and she has been working them that way eversince. I've even asked
>>>her
>>> if she feel embarrassed about having it in class and she says "no." She
>>> would never take the brailler to any other class, however. I've even
>>>tried
>>> to encourage her to write out the equasions on the BrailleNote. She also
>>> will use the abicus though I can't say exactly when or how she puts it
>>>to
>>> use.
>>>
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: Arielle Silverman [mailto:arielle71 at gmail.com]
>>> Sent: Friday, May 18, 2012 7:52 PM
>>> To: Blind Kid Mailing List, (for parents of blind children)
>>> Subject: Re: [blindkid] Fwd: [LCA] math question
>>>
>>> You can definitely write out math expressions, equations and solutions
>>>on
>>> the Braille Note but I don't know how you would perform the mathematical
>>> operations themselves (borrowing, carrying etc.) I'm sure it's
>>>possible, I
>>> just don't know how it is done. My intuition is the abacus would be
>>>easier
>>> than the Brailler, but I never gave the Brailler option much serious
>>>effort
>>> so I don't know.
>>> I completed calculus in high school without the use of a graphing
>>> calculator; there are algebraic ways to solve nearly all the equations
>>>I was
>>> taught. I'm not aware of an accessible graphinc calculator that provides
>>> tactile output. There are a few that provide audio output, which may or
>>>may
>>> not work depending on what level of calculus you are in.
>>> Arielle
>>>
>>> On 5/18/12, Susie <scooper1218 at yahoo.com> wrote:
>>>> My son is in 5th grade & has had a braillenote for a year & he's had
>>>> his share of struggles with math. He actually has to work out the math
>>>> problems on the Braille writer & they have just recently got him the
>>>> Math Window Tile Pallet to see if that would help him understand the
>>>> steps that need to be taken. I haven't heard other wise but my
>>>> understanding is that you can't do math problems on the braillenote.
>>>> Hope this helps.
>>>>
>>>> Susie
>>>>
>>>> Sent from my iPhone
>>>>
>>>> On May 18, 2012, at 6:33 PM, Arielle Silverman <arielle71 at gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> Hi all,
>>>>> Once again, this question came to me from another parents' list. If
>>>>> anyone has comments on math techniques using a Brailler or Braille
>>>>> notetaker, please either respond to Greg directly or respond on-list
>>>>> and I will forward. Thanks for your help!
>>>>> Arielle
>>>>>
>>>>> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>>>>> From: Greg Hardwig <ghardwig at comcast.net>
>>>>> Date: Fri, 18 May 2012 20:02:16 -0400
>>>>> Subject: [LCA] math question
>>>>> To: lca at yahoogroups.com
>>>>>
>>>>> Sarah is in the process of finishing up third grade (hard to believe)
>>>>> and she's spent a lot of time trying to learn the abacus, with
>>>>> limited success. He's been doing "mental math" but we had an IEP
>>>>> today and everyone is wondering if there's something else out there
>>>>> besides the abacus. We also discussed getting her a BrailleNote or
>>>>> something similar. So if anyone has any thoughts/experiences out
>>>>> there they'd like to share ...
>>>>>
>>>>> Thanks,
>>>>>
>>>>> Greg Hardwig
>>>>> Naples, FL
>>>>> Sarah (9- CEP 290)
>>>>>
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>>>
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>>
>>
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