12 Tips for Teaching Tactile Skills to Struggling Braille Readers

Collage of 12 tips for teaching tactile skills to struggling braille readers
Source: Paths to Literacy

Struggling braille readers may easily become frustrated or discouraged, so it’s critical to find ways to ensure success whenever possible.  Here are some strategies to promote tactile skills with struggling braille readers:

  1. Implement a variety of tactile activities throughout the daily schedule. Students need practice not just reading braille, but also using tactile information.
    • Put an article in a bag and have the student remove it and describe it – NOT tell you what it is. Ask them to think about questions, such as how much does it weigh, how long, what shape, what else might be like this, what is the purpose of the item, how is it different from yesterday’s item, etc. This is a good starter for lessons, introducing seasons of the year, special events, common knowledge, etc.
    • I recall putting a boat in the bag when the movie Titanic was showing.
    • Another example would be a stapler, and then to teach students how to use it. By third grade kids need to use one daily to help their teacher pair braille and print pages.
    • A pen and pencil can help to teach likenesses and differences.
    • Every fruit imaginable showed up in the bag and then we had tasting parties one year.
    • Toys like a yo-yo, or other toys of the day can be put in the bag.
    • Students must answer in complete sentences (no one word answers). In fact students should be taught to respond to all questions in complete sentences.
    • All this ties into improving sentence structure, writing, common knowledge, and even social skills.

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Braille Teaching Resources

 braille

January is Braille Literacy Month.  Invented by Louis Braille, at the age of 15 years old while attending the National Institute for Blind Youth in Paris. Braille lost his sight during a childhood accident at the age of 4. Braille is not a language, rather it is a code that uses symbols formed within units of space that consists of six raised dots , 2 across and 3 down.

The following sites describe Braille:

Braille: Deciphering the code

Braille: What is it?

What is Braille

The following links below include resources on teaching braille:

 

braille-teaching-resources

 

Braille Teaching Resources

  1. A kitchen curriculum for the parents of visually impaired children. A functional skills curriculum for visual impaired children from infants to 12 on up.
  2. 3 tips for teaching young children with a visual impairment how to become strong readers. Kristen Smith describes ways to prepare young children for reading including creating story boxes, and using all the senses.
  3. 5 ways to teach your blind child how to use an iPad. This article includes a few demonstration via videos and an infographic.
  4. 10 strategies for teaching math to children with visual impairments. Hillary Kleck shares ten strategies for teaching math to children who are blind or visually impaired.
  5. Creating a theme for your braille classroom. Liz Eagan shares tips and suggestions on creating a braille station in the classroom.
  6. Fun ways to teach braille to partially sighted students. Game activities for students that are partially sighted braille readers.
  7. Tips for promoting braille in the classroom. A number of suggestions that give students the opportunity to explore and understand braille
  8. Ten tips to help you teach yourself braille. Wonder Baby’s article includes a braille cheat sheet and a downloadable Braille alphabet and numbers sheet.
  9. Teaching Braille Writing. Tracy Fitch outlines 5 ways to help new learners on using a braille writer.
  10. Tracking activities for pre-braille learners. Resources including a variety of tactile material that can be glued to index cards or braille paper

Non-Profit of the Month- American Foundation for the Blind

American Foundation for the Blind

afb_org of month

Who They Are

American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) is a non-profit organization that provides services for people with vision loss, information and tools for professionals who serve people with vision loss and promotes independent and healthy living.

How They Do It

American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) offers a variety of programs and services that are geared toward improving the lives of people with vision loss  and their families. AFB also supports businesses, employers and professionals who provide services to blind and visually impaired people. Programs and services include:

  • Professional Development Material
  • Technology Evaluation
  • Demonstration Center
  • Public Policy Center

Upcoming Events

American Foundation for Blind Leadership Conference

March 3-5, 2016
Crystal Gateway Marriott
Arlington, VA
For more information, please click this link

Contact Information:

AFB Headquarters
2 Penn Plaza, Suite 1102
New York, NY 10121
www.afb.org