A teacher's story
I am a teacher. I teach bright students that learn best with both sign language and speech. Just like so many other educators, many times I am responsible for teaching several academic levels during the same class period. All the resources that I've been given were designed for typically hearing students. Since I began teaching, I have found almost no math resources readily available in American Sign Language. I frequently have to give independent work as I switched from group to group in my classroom, but I have always felt that I need to be doing so much more for my students.
While there were web-based tools that omitted the use of language in math practice, I did not feel that the deletion of language from math was the answer. I believe that the answer is more language for students, not less language! I watched my students get more and more frustrated during their standardized exams. They often knew the concepts but did not understand the language around them. The ASL videos that they saw on the tests were just not enough. My students questioned their intelligence and struggled with self-doubt, and it broke my heart to see it. After talking to colleagues and friends, I learned that so many teachers are frustrated with this lack of readily available resources for kids that benefit from visual learning and sign language.
I knew that I had to do something - so, I started to create signed and captioned math videos for my students that they could answer on their 1-1 devices. This let them take ownership of their learning, have independence and work at their own level. It allowed me to personalize and differentiate instruction for students in a diverse classroom. I saw the way that combining sign language, technology and visuals made mathematics come to life for my students, and I wanted to make that available for all students.
I dreamed of creating something for students that would be accessible, fun and transferable.
... something that would have language learning included in each step - whether it was sign language, spoken or written English.
... something that would allow teachers to support their students and differentiate their classroom activities in a meaningful way.
... something that would allow parents to support their children’s math and language learning at home, even with limited sign language.
And thus, ModalMath was born.
I hope that you will find it a beneficial math resource for your student or child, and that our kids can gain the confidence and self-belief that they deserve!
Founder of ModalMath
Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing