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Activity and strategy

Chemistry Braille Trick-of-the-Trade

Tips to support a braille student to balance chemical equations

My student was finding it difficult to balance chemical equations. I used the back of the large square graph board from the Geometry Math Window kit (a large cookie sheet would also work), used strong magnets to secure the braille page with the chemical equations on it (each equation is written with double full cells for the blanks. For example __Na+__Cl2 -> __NaCl) and set up the numbers and symbols she might need around the edges. 

This set up gave her the freedom to move numbers around as she was thinking through the equations. She just puts the math window number tiles above (or below) the full cell blanks, then double checks after she is done to be sure everything balances, and finishes by writing her final balanced equations on the Perkins Brailler.

Set up for chemistry math window

This worked like a dream!!!! Score one for today! I hope that this idea will help others too! Let me know if you try it and if you discover any modifications that work well.  I’m always interested in other ideas! (Note: my original thought was to put the number tiles on top of the full cells, but the magnet isn’t strong enough. By putting them in the space above the line, the full cells kind of kept them from sliding around, and the magnet was just strong enough to stick to the board through the braille paper). 

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