Project Math Access DVD 03 - Algebra - Part 02
Transcript Start
Audio Description: Part two; student interview.
KAPPERMAN: I noted that you function pretty well with the FOIL method... ...with the tack tiles. Can you describe the advantages of using the Tack Tiles and solving those mathematic, algebraic problems using the Tack Tiles, over other methods that you've tried.
JOHN: Well, the problem with the other methods is that I would write the original problem down and I would perform a couple of steps, but unfortunately I would lose the numbers. And then I would write out the steps for the work that I've done. On the next line, like if I was using a regular brailler but I find I would always lose numbers and it would be harder to go back and check and see, okay, what numbers do I have on this line ...what exactly did I do here? Sometimes I would actually have to refer to the original problem to determine how many numbers I had and make sure they were all accounted for. But the problem was the numbers on the page with the hard copy of the problem were always different from the numbers I had on my sheet of paper because I might have multiplied, I might have divided, I might have added... So, Ifound that I would become entirely confused after looking at it for a while and I would have to start all over again. At least with these tiles, if I do become confused, on one line as to what order of operation I've just performed, I can go up to the previous line re-check my work much easier, and then bring any remaining tiles down to the next line so I can rectify the situation.
KAPPERMAN: Excellent. Describe a typical situation in which you used the Tack Tiles in studying algebra.
JOHN: Okay, atypical situation... Normally I used to use the tiles every time I did algebra homework. The problems we did today were relatively simple, but in other cases they get complicated where they have the brackets, the parentheses, the exponents and things. So normally when I had homework problems like that, I would come in here and use those tiles to complete those kinds of problems.
KAPPERMAN: Did you ever use Tack Tiles at home? Did you have a set at home, too?
JOHN: Well, I didn't have a set of those at home, but what I would try to do is get as many of the most complicated problems done at school, and do the rest at home. Because you certainly don't need the Tack Tiles for every single math problem that you do.
KAPPERMAN: So you use them only for more complex problems.
JOHN: Yes.
KAPPERMAN: Give me an example, make up an example of a problem that would be complicated enough to use the Tack Tiles.
JOHN: First of all, almost any problem using the FOIL method I would use the tiles for, in some cases I would also use it for the order of operations. For example, if you had the number three and then in an opening bracket X+5 then in parentheses 3y minus 9 squared then out of parentheses + 8 then out of brackets minus 6 well, that's an awful lot to remember and to try and write down as you are doing the operations and calculations in your head. So I woud use the tiles and write all down and then I would determine what needs to be done in the parentheses first and as I was doing it, the calculations, I would be able to move the pieces down to that next line as opposed to trying to write out the rest of the equation and then, remember exactly where in the equation I had modified it, and try to write the rest of it the same, again. If you know what I mean. Every time I braille I have to braille the entire equation, othenivise... my modifications wouIn't be in the right spots and that would be pretty useless.
KAPPERMAN: Yes. I know exactly what you are talking about. So you use the Tack Tiles for other than the FOIL method...
JOHN: Yeah, yeah. Anything that really involves a couple of brackets or parentheses, anything that... gets complex.
KAPPERMAN: Good, excellent. You had originally started out trying to solve your algebraic equations with a braillewriter, is that right?
JOHN: Yes.
KAPPERMAN: And found it to be...
JOHN: I found it to be difficult.
KAPPERMAN: And you felt that you learned that you could finish the problems quicker and more efficiently using the Tack Tiles.
JOHN: Oh definitely. I mean, there'd be times where I'd have to re-start a problem three or four different times because I found out I messed up. There'd be other times where I would leave out a "minus" sign, a four, or something stupid like that that I know I could have caught but just didn't catch it because after you start looking at something for three or four times, it's hard to distinguish what's correct and what's not. As for these tiles, well... you only have to look at it one time. And it's much easier to go back and double- check your work than it is to triple and quadruple-check it.
KAPPERMAN: Do you have anything else you'd like to say about using Tack Tiles, or anything concerning mathematics in braille
JOHN: Well, I'd just like to say that the Tack Tiles have have made my life easier,... and it does allow to get... first of all it helps out dramatically in my accuracy in completing math problems. And that, um... this is a big step fonivard. I can't wait to see what comes next.
KAPPERMAN: Okay, good.