A teacher's story
I'm a teacher. I teach bright students that learn best with both sign language and speech. Like so many other educators, I'm often responsible for teaching different academic levels at the same time. All the resources I had were designed for typically hearing students. Since I started teaching, I've found almost no math resources ready to use in American Sign Language. Lots of times I have to give independent work as I switch from group to group in my classroom, but I've always felt that I need to be doing so much more for my students.
There are web-based tools that omit the use of language in math practice, I don't feel that the deletion of language from math is the answer. The answer is more language for students, not less language! I watched my students become frustrated during their standardized exams. They 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. I consulted with my tribe of teachers , and learned that so many teachers are frustrated with the lack of 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. I saw them take ownership of their learning and work independently at their own level. It let me personalize and differentiate instruction for my unique group of students. I saw how combining sign language, technology and visuals made math come to life for my students, and I knew I had 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.
... allow teachers to support their students and differentiate their classroom activities in a meaningful way.
... allow parents to support their children’s math and language learning at home, even with limited sign language.
And that's how Modal Math was born.
I hope that you'll 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