GEOMETRY & SPATIAL ADAPTATIONS
By: Carmen Willings
Geometry and Spatial sense is best taught through concrete hands on experiences when instructing students who are blind or visually impaired. This is beneficial not only for students with visual impairments but for students with normal vision as well.
Have students assemble puzzles, and sort shapes and objects related to the topic. Play “Treasure Hunt” games. Have students follow verbal or written spatial directions given to: Locate objects in the classroom, school or community. Encourage students to locate shapes within the environment when transitioning through the school or on community outings. Intentionally discuss positional concepts (on, in, on top of, underneath, thick, thin, rough, smooth, hard, soft, etc.) and incorporate counting and patterning activities and pairing numbers with groups of objects. Encourage students to follow directions and use low vision devices to read directions and discriminate between cards. Make math fun by incorporating graphs, charts, card and board games. Incidentally embedded math patterning and positional concepts into activities of daily living as well as waiting games during transitions.
The APH Braille/Large Print Protractor marks 180 degrees. The protractor features a pivoting wand. When aligned with a certain degree measurement, the corresponding angle is created by the wand and the bottom edge of the protractor.
The DRAFTSMAN Tactile Drawing Board is a versatile tactile drawing board that is used to create instant raised-line images. Students may need some assistance in loading the paper, but given practice, should be able to load it independently and create their own tactile graphics.
Geometric Forms introduce students to the circle, square, and triangle through three dimensional forms. The wooden shapes pictured to the right are available from APH through quota funds. APH also offers 9 plastic forms in the Math Builders geometry kit. Don't have access to quota funds? Many similar products can be found a teacher supply stores and other retailers such as Amazon.
Geometric Shape Sorters are another great activity for sorting shapes as well as practicing fine motor skills.
Geometro provides hands-on experience with manipulatives that aid in teaching 3-D geometry. Geometro models, available from APH or from geometro.com, are flat plastic shapes - triangles, squares, pentagons, and hexagons - that can be readily joined to form three-dimensional solids.
Geometry Tactile Graphics Kit includes a set of thermoformed raised-line drawings depicting geometry concepts, figures, and relationships. Graphics are larger and easier for students to measure than those in braille textbooks.
Giant Textured Beads with Pattern Matching Cards are available from APH. Pattern matching cards reinforce the tactile continuum from real object to raised-line graphics. Students can practice sorting and classifying by various attributes. Students can also practice creating and extended patterns.
These inset shape puzzles can be adapted with braille to reinforce practice with numbers.
The inTACT Eraser is a battery operated eraser specifically designed for tactile drawing. It allows the user to erase mistakes and can also be used to create dashed lines. The eraser works like a miniature iron, heating the flat tip to approximately 180 degrees. It flattens tactile drawings quickly and erases them tactually. This eraser can be used in tandem with the inTACT Sketchpad or it can be used with the APH Draftsman.
The inTACT Sketchpad is a great alternative to the Draftsman. It is particularly beneficial for students to use and create their own tactual graphics due to its ease of use. When the cover is lifted, there is a recessed area to place the drawing sheet on. Magnet strips completely cover the perimeter of the board creating a secure closing when the lid is lowered.
The Fisher Price Matchin Middles Oreo game is a great way for younger students to practice matching and identifying shapes. Each cookie has a different shape in the middle, 2 cookie halves with matching shapes inside fit together.
Math Builders Unit 6: Geometry is a supplementary math program. It includes a teacher's guide with lesson plans specific to geometry standards.
The Math Window Braille Geometry Kit allows the student to work and solve geometric problems, as well as, graph them on double-sided, framed work surface. The kit contains point markers for locating points and plotting squares to help the student accurately plot points on the graph. Wickki Stix® are used to connect the plotted points, forming line segments and curves, and to illustrate math functions.
Omnifix Cubes can be used with any math curriculum that specifies linking cubes. Students can snap flat shapes together to form a permanent cube which can then be joined to other cubes to build shapes and teach key geometry concepts!
New Puzzle Game
Toshiaki Iuchi, a former engineer in Japan, has developed this puzzle for people who are visually impaired. He is donating these puzzle sets to schools for the blind! He has developed the games through his passion and interest in providing games for people who are blind.
The Puzzle Form Board Kit is available from APH. It is a supplementary aid for teaching basic concepts such as shape, texture, color, size, and matching. It includes 5 different puzzle shapes with puzzle frames: circle, diamond, square, rectangle, and triangle.
Shape templates allow students to and teachers to easily create geometric shapes. A template is easier to use than a solid shape as it is easier to trace a template.
An inset sound shape puzzle is a fun way for students to learn their shapes and
Stackups: Spatial Reasoning Using Cubes and Isometric Drawings available through APH, encourages students using 2D and 3D shapes to: recognize, name, build, draw, compare, and sort; describe attributes and parts; and investigate and predict the results of putting together and taking apart.
Tactile Tangrams from APH encourages the development and reinforcement of many educational and recreational skills including spatial reasoning, shape recognition, size comparison, pattern replication, and independent problem solving.
Tactile Treasures available through APH, is a teaching tool that can be used to help students transition from objects to tactual graphics. Concepts introduced and reinforced include shape, size, comparison of two or more objects, amount, position, and page orientation.
For younger students, talking shape sorters are a great way to practice matching shapes and listening to their names. Keep in mind it is only appropriate to use age appropriate toys with the student, and not use infant or preschool toys with older students.
Textured Sorting Circles and Shapes can be used to create Venn diagrams. The magnetic backing can be used on a metal surface.
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Due to the nationwide shortage of vision professionals, it can be challenging to locate personnel. Announce a job vacancy on the Job Exchange of Teaching Students with Visual Impairments, an online listing of jobs specific to the visual impairment field.