Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Independent Work Tasks for Beginning Braille Readers

To reinforce and practice a new skill, teachers often use worksheets with their students.  It is important for students to have opportunities to strengthen skills with repetition.   I want to share 4 different ways I have created "worksheets" for my son Liam (age 9, deafblind).  I wanted worksheet-type activities that would not only allow for practice of a set skill, but that would be motivating, quick to create and support independent work.     

Note:  For the following worksheets our learning goal was to work on verb endings (future, present and past tense).  The activities could be adapted to support any learning goal you have for your student.  

 

1. Push Pin Worksheet:  

I got the idea for this activity from the text Beginning with Braille: Firsthand Experiences with a Balanced Approach to Literacy by Anna M. Swenson and modified it to fit my needs.  On page 160 of the text, you will find many examples of ways in which you could use the push pin activity as a worksheet. 

Worksheet with push pins

As you can see, this "worksheet" has been used quite a few times.  I place words on braille label paper and Liam can put the push pin near the correct answer.  The label paper can be removed so that another "worksheet" can be used with another set of words or topic.  The "base" of the pushpin board is two pieces of card board glued together.  

Materials:

  • label paper
  • pushpins
  • cardboard/corkboard square

 

2.  Fill-in-the-blank Worksheet

This worksheet was easy to create.  I used sentences that would support the learning goal I had for Liam for that day.  I left "blanks" for Liam to type the answers on.  You could feed the paper into the brailler and the student could write the answers that way, but I choose to use label paper with Liam.  Liam loves the label paper and enjoyed cutting out the words and putting the correct answers onto the worksheet.  It all depends on the goals you have and the interests of the student you are working with, as well as their skill level.  

Fill-in-the-blank worksheet  Close-up of Fill-in-the-blank worksheet

 

3.  Staple Worksheet

This was another fun activity that I found in the Beginning with Braille book (pg. 174) and was able to modify to fit the goals I had for Liam.  The great thing about this activity is that you can use scrap pieces of braille paper and it did not take long for me to create at all! And of course, it is very motivating because Liam loves to staple things!! I put three words on each card in braille.  I would tell him a sentence using one of the words on the card and he would have to staple the correct answer shown on the card.   This game could easily be used to show problems that students can answer on their own as well.  This is a great activity for independent practice! 

Set up for staple worksheet  Staple worksheet

 

Liam loves to staple things!

4.  Sorting Activity

This activity serves the same purpose as a worksheet.  I gave Liam a pile of "verbs" with different endings and he had to sort them and place them into the correct "category".  Each day I added new words to the sort pile.  He loved this activity and was able to do it independently.   This activity can easily be modified to support other learning targets as well with little preparation.  We also used the words to create sentences afterwards.  

Note:  The Dollar Tree has many great options for "sorting trays".  That is where I found the one used in this activity.  smiley

Sorting activity  Sorting tray

Collage of independent work activities
Posted on August 31, 2018
Updated on: September 4, 2018