Math is not my student’s favorite subject. She is in 3rd grade and she actually cringes when I suggested that we work on math in any of our lessons. So the challenge was to sell her on an activity which she always looks forward to and then drop the bomb that it was all about math… I delivered the news by calling it a “math board game”. Still no shrieks of delight, but better reaction than I was expecting…
The goal of this game is to practice reading and writing braille numbers, to create number sentences, and to practice math facts. She is working on multiplication, but this could be done with addition, subtraction, division, etc.
I created a simple board game setup with the following materials:
- a small stack of sticky notes
- a piece of decorative cardboard
- graphic art tape
- tactile game dice
- Nemeth number stickers
My student was instructed that she needed to roll the dice and count the numbers on each die, and then use the brailler to braille out the math problem in Nemeth braille. Once she brailled the problem, she could take a sticky note and place it over the number she rolled. She needed to roll and braille every combination that showed up on the dice.
As the game board started to fill up, she began talking about how we could play it next time. These were some of her suggestions:
- Roll only 1 die and then braille the multiplication problems for that number times the whole board 1-12. So if she brailled a 3, she would have to either braille or dictate back her 3 tables: 3 x 1, 3 x 2, 3 x 3 = __, etc.
- Change out the numbers on the board to numbers that equal the answers of 1-6 times tables. With a small board it could be a type of BINGO game, with a larger board it could be more of a practice of her times tables. Roll both die and whatever numbers appear, multiply the two numbers and then hunt and mark off answers on game board.
The game was a success, and we were able to sneak in a little math with the fun!