Project INSPIRE’s Nemeth in a Box for Middle School Students

Girl writing on Perkins braillerThe Project INSPIRE (Increasing the STEM Potential of Individuals who Read Braille) team developed “Nemeth in a Box for Middle School Students” to provide a fun way for students to practice their Nemeth skills and build their math concepts. In spring and summer 2021 we invited students from across the United States to take part in a series of online meetings to use the materials we developed and give us feedback. Now we are sharing the materials with you on the Nemeth in a Box microsite

We have created seven lessons that teachers of students with visual impairments, paraprofessionals, and family members can use 1:1 with students or in small groups. All the student materials are provided as .brf files. For each lesson there is an accessible facilitator guide. 

Lessons 1-6 introduce and review a set of Nemeth Code symbols that students then practice as they complete activities including Mazes, What’s Wrong, Which One Doesn’t Belong, and What is the Problem. In Which One Doesn’t Belong, students use math terminology as they discuss their thinking about Nemeth Code symbols and math concepts that incorporate the symbols. For example, in Lesson 5 they are given these four expressions: 27x2, 3x2, 46x2, and 9x3. Of these four expressions, there are multiple reasons each one doesn’t belong with the other three. For example, 46x2 does not have a coefficient that is a multiple of the number 3. In addition, 46 is the only even number. 

In a follow up survey after completing all the “Nemeth in a Box” lessons, students shared what they liked best. One student reported, “I enjoyed…Which One Doesn't Belong. I enjoyed this because I got to give out my own opinion on which one I thought was different, and I also got to listen to other's opinions and choices.” For Lessons 2, 4, and 6 there is also a Boggle game that students found challenging yet fun. Lesson 7 is an opportunity for students to review all that was learned in Lesson 1-6 by playing BINGO and Jeopardy.

It's not often that middle school students reflect on attending an academic activity and share “I enjoy[ed] the fact that I learned a lot more [Nemeth] symbols while still having fun.” And another who reported, “[I liked] getting to know some of my blind peers from around the country.” The social benefit of “Nemeth in a Box” was an added plus! 

We invite you to use Nemeth in a Box with your students! We hope that you will also take advantage of our free courses for professionals. Over the next 2.5 years we will offer more activities for students and courses for professionals. Don’t miss out. Sign up to be notified of future Project INSPIRE opportunities and follow us on Facebook

Collage of Nemeth in a Box