Counting blocks in 2nd grade

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    Chris Clemens

    Please look at the post in the MATH, SCIENCE, COMPUTER section re: the 2nd grade counting blocks. My question really deals with the tactile aspect of this topic.

    I tried to post it again to you, but have not suceeded to include attachments! So, if you look at it in the other section, perhaps you can give me suggestions. THANKS in advance!

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    Chris Clemens

    I will re-attach the file (pg 512-513) that you posted in the Math section here, for other readers to refer to.
    I will also attach a couple of example pages of how I have seen these done in tactile form.
    I have never seen the thousandth block used in Grade 2 material before. In the books that I have worked with, even Grade 3 only shows up to the hundreds shape. Often they are referred to by name in the textbook as cubes, flats, rods, and ones. They are almost always taught with the use of manipulatives.
    At the grade 2 level, I would do each of these as tactile graphics rather than devising a braille symbol or abbreviation.
    I hope that you find this to be useful. Thanks for posting your question again here.

    edited by betty.marshall on 2/28/2011

    Chris Clemens

    Betty, Thanks for your examples. The book, enVisionMATH for grade 2, does not mention manipulatives. I would think the teacher would certainly use manipulatives. This current chapter (17 out of 20) has many, many, many hundreds and tens diagrams and a few thousand blocks. I'll proceed using your ideas!


    Chris Clemens

    I also have 2nd grade math with a lot of counting blocks shown. I feel that if I were to do each one of these as a tactile that it would take up too much space and pages. In a math class that I had with Betsy McBride we did these with braille symbols which just seems to save more space and quicker solving for the students. Please advise I really want to do this correctly.

    Chris Clemens

    The guidelines for producing counting blocks in braille are as follows:

    1. For kindergarten through grade 3 counting blocks should be shown as a tactile graphic. Blocks should be no smaller than 3/8 inch square. Groups of blocks should be grouped the same as they are in print with 1/8 to 1/4 inch between individual blocks, and 3/4 inch between groups of blocks.
    (When it is necessary to use more than one braille page to depict the counting blocks, a transcriber's note should be inserted before the start of the tactile graphic, telling the reader how many pages the tactile graphic involves.)

    2. For grades 4 and up counting items can be represented by using the letters "on" for one, "tn" for ten, "hn" for hundreds, "th" (uncontracted) for thousands. A transcriber's note must be added explaining the use of braille symbols as a representation of the print object.

    Yes, they do require quite a bit of time to produce and space in the braille volume. This is perhaps not the answer you were hoping for, but it is considered the best practise for the grade 2 level.


    Chris Clemens

    You are right this is not what I wanted to hear, but oh well you got to do what you got to do. 🙂
    One more question please: When making these blocks is there a specific way? What I mean is do we do this by hand or produce within software with braille characters? I usually do this by hand but I am not in the location where the student is and I will be just sending this in a file for the transcriber to emboss. I would appreciate your opinion on this.
    Thank you so much for your time.

    Chris Clemens

    Sorry for the delay ...
    Unfortunately, it is not advisable to use braille dots to try and make shapes -- particularly at this age level.
    It would depend on what type of software you have and what type of embosser is available. There are some embossers (such as the Tiger) that can emboss outside of the normal braille cell configuration. Graphic software is used to draw an image which can then be embossed.
    BANA is going to be posting the Guidelines and Standards for Tactile Graphics on their website (probably in April). While they are what is considered to be the best solution, sometimes when you don't have the equipment, or the student needs the material immediately, you just have to do the best that you can with what you have. I can only make suggestions. And it sounds as though, in your case, your spur wheel may become your best friend.
    Good luck,


    Is there any way the attachments discussed below can be resent? It helps to answer a question I have. Thanks, either way.

    Susan Baker

    Hi Susan
    It appears that the attachment referred to earlier in this post seems to have disappeared. It was a pdf file named called pg 512&513 and I will attach it here again for you. I no longer have the example files that I added at the time, but will also attach an example from another post where I addressed this issue. Hope you find this answers your question!!

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