When I was a kid, math was boring. At best you might get to play with some blocks and count them out on your desk, but mostly it was just worksheets followed by more worksheets.
I started searching for some number and math ideas on Pinterest and was happy to see that things have changed... math is fun! If only I had learned math like this!
I also noticed that a lot of the fun math activities designed for typical preschoolers and elementary kids could easily be adapted for children with visual impairments. Since most of them already involve sensory items (like pom poms or play-doh), they're pretty accessible to begin with. Add a little braille or large print and you're good to go!
Here are some of our favorite Accessible Math & Number Activities:
Start by reading this article from Paths to Literacy about beginning math skills. In this article Katie Armstrong discusses how she creates accessible math activities in her classroom for her visually impaired students. She points out that since her students have varying levels of vision, she tries to create cards and objects that include braille, large print and tactile numbers all in one. What a great idea! [Read More]
This is an absolutely brilliant idea! Stick two wrapping paper tubes into the top of a cardboard box that has been opened on one side. Cut pieces from a larger tube and draw or braille numbers on them. Place the numbers on the wrapping paper tubes and fill with that many pom poms. Two pom poms go into one tube and three go in the other... how many come out the bottom? That's addition! [Read More]
This is a simple idea with so many variations and applications. Draw large print numbers or attach braille to plastic bottles. You can fill the bottles with rice or leave them empty. Knock them down with a ball and listen to them fall then count how many stayed up and how many fell. Which balls work better? Do the bottles stand up better when they are filled with rice or empty? Introduce addition and subtraction when the bottles fall and when you set them back up again. [Read More]
This is another easy and simple idea that will help your child learn the concept of fractions. Use colored rice or pasta and fill up measuring cups or teaspoons. Have your child fill up mason jars or other containers and see how many cups it takes to fill the container. How many 1/2 cups? What about combining the 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup? You can see the possibilities. [Read More]
Paper plate crafts are some of my favorites and this one allows you to create a counting game too! Just glue the ribbons to clothes pins so you can remove them and then put them back on. Replace the number stickers with braille and you're all set! [Read More]
Cut some rings out of paper towel tubes and use number stickers or braille stickers to label them with numbers. What can you do with numbered tubes? So much! Line them up in order or backwards, put counters in them to match the numbers on the tubes, stack them, build with them or use them for addition and subtraction! [Read More]
Making math fun will help make the lessons stick - and making an activity accessible is actually really easy! Just remember: braille, large print or tactile and you're all set!
And if you're looking for another fun number idea, check out this Sudoko Touch Giveaway from Paths to Literacy. Contest ends March 31, 2013, so head on over to submit an entry!