Project Math Access

Teaching Mathematical Concepts

Basic Number Facts and Operations

Collaborative and Inclusive Strategies

The Personal Perspective of Abraham Nemeth

A mathematics problem will be copied from the student's textbook, which has been transcribed into braille. The item identifier (number of the problem) should be written following Nemeth Code rules, beginning with the numeric indicator (dots 3-4-5-6), the Nemeth Code number, followed by the punctuation indicator (dots 4-5-6), and then the period. Two spaces are left between the period and the first addend (the first number in the list of numbers). No numeric indicators should be placed before any of the numbers in the problem, including the answer.

Immediately below the first addend, subsequent addends should be brailled. These numbers should be placed in the proper columns, as they would be in print. A blank line should be left under the last addend. The horizontal line which separates the addends from the answer (a line of dots 2-5) should not be used; neither should the sign of operation (e.g., plus sign) be brailled, since it is clear from the written exercise that this is an addition problem. The principle to follow is to braille as little as possible in order to save time. On the other hand, sufficient symbols must be brailled to make the steps in the operation clear. To leave a blank line below the last addend, the paper advance control should be tapped twice after the last addend has been brailled. The carriage of the braillewriter should then be positioned in the units column. The student can use his or her finger to make certain that he or she feels the units column being "pointed to" by the carriage.

After the carriage of the braillewriter has been positioned correctly, the calculation can begin. The student simply reads the answers in the proper column, adding them as they are read. The units number of the answer is written, and the student backspaces twice to position the carriage in the tens column. If there is a number to "carry over", the student must remember that value. He or she then adds that value to the number at the beginning of the tens column and proceeds down the column, adding the numbers as they appear under his or her finger. If the student experiences difficulty holding the "carried" number in his or her memory, an abacus can be used to temporarily store it.

The student then writes the number and backspaces twice. This procedure is repeated until the operation is complete. The teacher may wish to have the student clarify which number is the final answer by having the student rewrite it below the problem, noted as follows: ans. = the number, with a numeric indicator preceding it.

#1. 7837115ans. = 115