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Early Learning

Included in this section are tools to increase access to early learning.  Items include Matching, Sorting, Patterning, ten-frames, and other early learning skills.

Click here for an Early Learning Detailed Handout of the information below.

Click here for a Complete List of Math Items in all of the Math Tools Sections without the detailed description.

  • Five and Ten Frames
    • Use the large square graph paper and cut out a frame making sure that it includes the tactile outline. Put on a metal tray and use magnets for the dots.
    • The EZeeCOUNT abacus from APH can be split into tens or fives and the circles can be rotated to a different texture. Yellow is smooth, red is rough. The circles can be slid over to make a 2 by 5 array.

 EZeeCOUNT abacus

  • Use large rubber bands or something else to divide up the 10x10 hundreds grid board shown below into 10 or 5 frames and use the Velcro circles or squares that come with it to fill in the squares as needed. 
  • Some tactile Ten frame sets are available at several different companies. Some of the companies that are good to check include www.didax.com , http://www.eaieducation.com/ , http://www.hand2mind.com/ , www.lakeshorelearning.com
    • Ten frame trains that work well with unifix cubesten frame trains
    • Magnetic ten frame sets. These could be used with the math window tiles that have braille and print for the numbers, addition sign, and = on the magnetic tiles. Graphic art tape can be used to raise the lines on the boards with the handle.

 magnetic ten frame sets

  • There are wood and foam sets 

wood and foam ten frame set

  • There are foam ten frames. 

foam ten frame sets

  • There are sets with compartments inside of trays

ten frame sets with compartments

  • Tactile Treasures: Math and Language Concepts for Young Children with Visual Impairments http://www.aph.org  1-08842-01
    • Tactile Treasures Tactile/Color Edition is an informal assessment and teaching tool for use with children from preschool through elementary grades. It helps students develop an early understanding of basic concepts and vocabulary that are prerequisites for reading and math. By pairing tactile graphics of thermoformed real objects with included descriptive scripts/stories, over 90 concepts related to shape, size, comparison of two or more objects, amount, position, and page orientation can be introduced and reinforced.  Tactile Treasures consists of 79 colorful thermoformed sheets featuring tactile pictures created from real objects that illustrate math and language concepts. The types of thermoformed objects are numerous—from pretzels, buttons, and rings to zippers, scissors, and shells. The variety of objects depicted adds interest, encourages exploration, and helps broaden vocabulary.  An accompanying teacher’s guidebook provides two suggested scripts or stories for every concept introduced.
      The tactile graphics contents of each binder are as follows:
      • Binder I: Shape and Size Concepts
      • Binder II: Comparison and Amount Concepts
      • Binder III: Position and Pre-Reading Concepts
      • Large Print Teacher’s guidebook with two scripts/stories for each concept presented. The
        guidebook also gives a general overview of the materials, instructions for use, extended
        activities, and a Checklist of Concepts (for monitoring a student’s progress).
      • CD-ROM containing accessible fi les of the Guidebook and Checklist of Concepts.


                                             tactile treasures


  • Giant Textured Beads with Pattern Matching Cards http://www.aph.org  1-03778-00
    • Helps teachers and parents working with young students in preschool, kindergarten, and early
      elementary grades who have visual impairments and blindness. Additionally, because the Pattern
      Matching Cards reinforce the tactile continuum from real object (most basic level) to raised-line
      graphics (most advanced level), students in higher grades will be challenged by the increasing
      difficulty posed by the “Platform” and “3-D View” matching cards.  Encourage development of the following concepts and skills:
      • Exploring and identifying shapes, textures, and colors
      • Sorting and classifying by various attributes
      • Recognizing, describing, repeating, extending, and creating patterns that are consistent with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Standards for Grades K-3
      • Fine motor skills such as stringing beads or inserting beads and matching cards into sorting trays
      • Vocabulary expansion related to shapes, textures, colors, and spatial concepts
      • Interpreting tactile displays within a purposeful context
    • Includes:
      • 12 Giant Textured Beads with three different textures, colors, and shapes 
      • Bead Stringer
      • Drawstring bag (to store beads)
      • 12 “Duplicate” color/ tactile matching cards
      • 12 “Platform” color/ tactile matching cards
      • 12 “3-D View” color/ tactile matching cards
      • 2 Sorting Trays with non-skid backing
      • Activity Booklet, both large print and braille
      • Storage/Carrying Box

                                 Giant textured beads with pattern matching cards

  • Shape Board http://www.aph.org  1-03710-01
    • Learn to discriminate, sort, and classify different geometric figures according to size, shape, color, or position on a pegboard.
    • This revised board has proportional shapes that contrast brightly against the yellow pegboard and aids in understanding up, down, right, and left.
    • Consists of 25 geometric figures and a board with three columns of five pegs. Includes five different shapes (square, rectangle, triangle, circle, and pentagon) in small, medium, and large sizes.

                        shape board

  • FOCUS in Mathematics Kit, Second Edition http://www.aph.org  1-08280-01
    • An activity-based program that emphasizes the fundamental operations, properties, and structures of math.
    • APH's classic FOCUS in Mathematics Kit has been extensively redesigned. Intended for students in pre-k through first grade, objectives are aligned to National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Curriculum Focal Points. Materials include hundreds of manipulative items, designed to be easily handled and offer tactile and visual contrast. Teacher materials include a Teacher's Guide, reusable student worksheets, and printable assessment checklists included on the CD.
    • Units
      • Numbers and Operations
      • Geometry
      • Algebra
      • Measurement
      • Data Analysis

                                tray with dividers       base ten blocks, counting cards, number lines and cubes      

                                weight, size, length, width, and height      shapes, wheatley board, puzzles, tactile tokens

  • MathBuilders, Unit 1: Matching, Sorting, and Patterning which is available at http://www.aph.org    7-03560-00
    • Objectives for each lesson have been aligned with the Principles and Standards for School Mathematics from the National Council for Teachers and Mathematics (NCTM).
    • Unit 1 includes:
      • Teacher’s guide with lesson plans for grades K-3
      • CD-ROM with General Guidelines for Teaching Math to Young Braille Users
      • 58 geometric shapes with different sizes, shapes, textures, and colors
      • Felt board
      • Textured shapes with Velcro®-backing
      • Point symbol stickers
      • Length sticks
      • Bell bracelet and rattle for creating sound patterns

                   MathBuilders matching sorting and patterning

  • Hundreds Board which is available at http://www.aph.org  1-03105-00
    • These two boards and included manipulative items can be used to help teach basic math concepts. Includes two desk-sized boards made of heavy-duty plastic. The Boards have a raised-line, 10 x 10 grid outlined in black. Grid is blank and manipulatives can be attached to it. This number grid is preprinted with the numbers 1 through 100 in large print and in Nemeth Braille. This board acts as a reference to check work placed on the Grid Board and can be used for concept demonstration. Included are hundreds of manipulative pieces made of tough plastic and backed with loop material for attaching to the Grid Board. There are two kinds of manipulatives, numbers (1 through 100) and four colored shapes. Uses include Patterning, Counting, Ordering numbers, Comparing numbers, Basic Operations, Graphing data, Using cardinal directions.

                     hundreds board



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