I love allllll the work y’all have done on this device. I just have a noticing that I want to bring up - not a cricisicm, a noticing - in regards to math.

I have a middle school student who has been struggling a bit with algebra. He has a BrailleSense (beautifully seamless Nemeth Code capabilities, btw). However, he struggles to remember the previous line of the equation when rewriting it on the subsequent line. For example, it is difficult to remember the previous line when doing a problem like this where you need to rewrite the equation changing one element at a time:

3x+4 = 19

3x+4-4 = 19-4

3x = 15

3x÷3 = 15÷3

x = 5

His BrailleSense (although wonderful with math) only shows one line at a time. The current software in regards to mathematics on the Monarch doesn’t exactly do what we’re looking for, BUT I have found a bit of a work-around for it.

My student has been reading his math worksheet on his BrailleSense in a Word Document. Then when it comes time to solve an equation, he opens a BRF on the Monarch and does his work there. Then he writes his answer on his BrailleSense. It has been a very helpful tool for him, and his math teacher loves that he can see all the steps at once. Unfortunately, the file that is generated from that is not something his teacher can read (womp womp). This adds an extra step because when he gets a problem wrong, his teacher needs me to open the BRF and read the steps to her to find the error. This, obviously, is not ideal.

I say all this to say that this device is BEGGING y’all to allow multi-line math work. He had a Humanware BrailleNote Touch many years ago. However, when I compared the BrailleSense to the Touch in terms of math, I made the choice to switch to a more Nemeth-friendly device, as it was exactly what he needed. Pleeeeeeeeease consider implementing something that more seamlessly integrates multi-line math.

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I agree wholeheartedly with you! I just had my student playing around in a brf with math. He loved being able to solve equations showing the steps and SEEING the steps as on a Perkins brailler. So I thought I’d have hime play around with a little spatial math, something simple like adding a couple of two digit numbers. [distressing sidebar: here’s a high school geometry student who uses a calculator so often he couldn’t remember how to set the problem up vertically…] In any case, the problem we were having was that apparently in a brf you must move a page at a time. For example with 10 lines, if you are on line 9 solving a problem, the whole problem disappears when you go to the next line because the whole page moves up 10 lines.

A feature to just move up a line or two instead of a whole page would be a real game changer. Or does this already exist and I just haven’t figured out how to do that?

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I agree with your thoughts. My student also has a Braille sense 6 and has struggled with reading multiple lines. Our math teachers are using a TPT curriculum so we have had difficulty getting her notetaker to read the PDF’s. Are you rewriting in word and sending to your student?

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Agreed! So glad it’s not just me doing the BRF work around to use multi-line math in the types of ways that students in middle and high school often do math.

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Most of the math I send my students is in a Word document. I insert the math using Equation Editor and then drop it in Google Drive for him to open on his BrailleSense.

Here’s a little tutorial if you haven’t used Equation Editor before.

If you open a Word document and push control and = together, it will open something called the Equation Editor in Word. You can also find it through the insert tab. Anything you put in that box will translate to correct Nemeth on the BrailleSense. There will be a tab with special symbols and ways to create fractions and exponents and all sorts of other things. I’m sure there’s a YouTube for how to use Equation Editor in Word that will explain it better and walk you through it more.

I do have one helpful tip to help you not make the same mistake is me. You cannot have anything else on the line with the math. So when you press ctrl= it will center a box in the middle of the screen. Don’t write anything before or after that box. Only write math in the box.

I hope this helps!

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Wow! Thank you for taking time to explain and provide me a tutorial.

I will be checking this out. Thanks again!

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I absolutely agree. I have a sixth grader who could really use a way to do multi-line math.

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Were you able to do spatial math? I have a 1st grader that I wanted to try it with.

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We were able to do spatial math. There was a little learning curve in terms of the student being sure of which cell they were in while solving. And as I mentioned, the page only moves a full page at a time, so we had to make sure there was enough room vertically for a problem. But I think it has potential.

While not spatial, we had a lot of success solving equations and being able to see the entire process while solving.

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I am going to try this Equation Editor when I get to work Monday. Math is definitely our weak spot!! THANKS for the information!

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What approaches did you take in improving the learning curves with spatial math? I was working with another TVI yesterday and one thing we noticed was that the vertical math would have an additional space after each character.

Lindsay

We only tried it once, but I don’t recall having that issue. I’ll try it again this week and see how it goes.

Thank you so much for this tutorial. I am trying to find an easy way for my student to access the math curriculum. I will be giving this a try this week.

Lealisa