Tactile Number Lines with Braille for Teaching Math Concepts to Blind Children

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  • braille number line on gripper mat table

Number lines are a great tool for teaching early mathematic concepts. They provide a physical way to demonstrate how numbers become larger the further away you get from zero, and may also be used for simple addition and subtraction problems. The past week, I used the number line shown below with Madilyn as a tactile/visual aid for finding sums of beginning addition problems from zero up to ten (0-10).

The number lines shown consist of braille and print so anyone can use them. To make your own, print the Sensory Sun Number Lines (PDF below) on heavy cardstock or braille paper, add braille, and cut apart. I lined the brailler embossing head up with the lines to emboss them using dots 1,4 across the line. I added the corresponding braille numbers below the printed numbers, then cut them apart using a paper trimmer (a great tool to always have on hand). You can use a variety of materials to make the dots tactile. The examples below are much the same, however the version at the top is made with dimensional glitter glue and for the bottom line I punched dots from rough glitter cardstock to feel drastically different compared to the smooth paper.

Download the Sensory Sun Number Lines Printable (PDF) by adding it to your cart below!

Tips for Better Results

  • A variety of manipulatives and other hands-on aids may be used in conjunction with the number lines as well. In advanced lessons, number lines can show the negative numbers to the left of zero and positive numbers to the right.
  • You can use tape (removable is handy for reusing) to keep the number line from sliding around on the desk or use a gripper mat underneath. You may also wish to laminate the cards after printing- but before adding the braille and tactile dots- to enhance the durability for prolonged use.

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