“[I] basically did not know where to start with teaching this age group math. Now I have somewhere to start.” This teacher of students with visual impairments (TSVIs) is like many others when it comes to math instruction for our youngest students.
What Is Project INSPIRE?
Project INSPIRE: Increasing the STEM Potential of Individuals who Read Braille, is a 5-year grant project to assist professionals (TSVIs, paraprofessionals, braille transcribers) to produce high-quality materials in Nemeth Code within UEB Contexts and UEB Technical. Professionals also gain skills in how to instruct students in mathematical/scientific braille notation and support students in STEM courses. We want to give professionals skills and confidence. A TSVI who took our first course commented, “This course strengthened my braille skills and taught me new formatting for Nemeth within UEB Contexts. I am more confident in my abilities as I adapt materials and teach my PreK-1st graders Nemeth [so they can] be successful with their general education math class.”
Each course Project INSPIRE develops is offered two times to individuals who take part in the research component of the project. Once we’re done collecting data, the self-paced courses are open to anyone who wishes to take advantage of the wealth of information contained in each. If you would like to receive information about upcoming courses, please email Tina Herzberg at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Course 1 Now Available for Free!
The first course, Nemeth Code within UEB Contexts and Strategies for Supporting the Pre-K-1st Grade Student in Building Math Skills, is now available to you! It has 7 lessons. Each lesson contains a video, transcript, and Power Point focused on a specific topic. For example, Lesson 2 is titled Math Problems and Nemeth Code Switch Indicators, and Lesson 6 is titled Supporting the Student in Learning Nemeth Code and Math Concepts.
A participant shared, “I have already saved the Power Points of each lesson in my Drive files for quick references. They were excellent. I feel much more confident now in creating math materials for students on my itinerant caseload. I'm teaching mini-math lessons on correct formatting, using flashcards for sorting and [providing] more experiences with tactile graphics. The course is so needed for anyone (teacher, school staff, families) to promote best practices for math. The motto math is hard would never be uttered if everyone took this course!”
Practice Activities, Assignments, and Resources Are Included
Many of the lessons also have embedded practice activities so that users can apply what they’re learning as they go along. The course also includes two assignments at the end of the course that allow users to apply what they learned, both with the Nemeth Code within UEB Contexts and the instructional methods. Answer keys are provided so that users can check their work.
The course also contains an extensive research list. There are always new resources to learn about as one participant shared, “The resources provided were amazing because many of them I haven't heard of before - I have limited experience with elementary students.” And, who can argue with this TVI who shared, “The course also helped build my confidence in teaching Nemeth! I really enjoyed the course. It was informative, to the point and manageable even with baby at home.”
So, what are you waiting for? Check out this course and be on the look out for future Project INSPIRE courses. We plan to release one each semester!