So I spent a lot of my time preparing for this post by looking at Braille and how that system could apply to teaching math in elementary schools. I read the article with lesson plan ideas for elementary students and learned a lot about the history of Braille and who invented it. I found it really interesting how there was a system before Louis Braille invented his system. He took something that wasn’t practical for his lifestyle and changed it to suit him better. The assignment of different patters to letters and numbers was intriguing and I don’t know how hard or easy it would be to be blind and learn how to read it. I loved the options for the activities to do with students especially the younger ones using colors and then moving forward with the older students and teaching them more about the background of Braille and diving deeper into the idea behind our projects and assignments.

I furthered this look at Braille by doing the worksheet that we received called “Pixel Patterns.” I basically began by making my own mock Braille system which looks like this:

You can see that I could use my system to write my name as well. I didn’t plan it out in any specific way, so I figured there was probably a more patterned way of arranging the dots, hence Braille. The Braille alphabet has a more systematic way of arranging the dots going from one letter to the next, and it even has a symbol to motion for a capital letter– something I hadn’t even thought of! Here’s what my name looks like in Braille.

For further confusion and curiosity I went ahead and shaded in my own 5 pixel alphabet. It would be hard to memorize and get used to, but here it is!

It’s hard for me to pinpoint a pattern to the Braille alphabet, but looking at it I can tell it sequences well. I would be curious to hear how my students would describe the pattern, and I would also like to give them the opportunity to make their own alphabets and explain why they chose to do it that way.

I also watched the Domino Chain Reaction video, pretty neat!

The creativity quotes page was a great read as well.. here’s one that stuck out:

“The trick to creativity, if there is a single useful thing to say about it, is to identify your own peculiar talent and then to settle down to work with it for a good long time.”

We as teachers need to remember that our students have unique talents and can be creative in different ways. I hope to structure my classroom to allow for that creative space for all of my students one day.

I could do this by allowing for more creativity on assignments- like this braille worksheet, no two students would create the exact same alphabet. The same should go for  most projects. Creativity shouldn’t be shut out just because a child is in math class. Instead, it should be encouraged!

How do you feel my blog post went this week? I sure learned a lot while creating it, and felt my own creative juices flowing. I really loved learning about Braille more. I now have a better understanding after only a few hours of looking into it’s history.