Thursday, February 28, 2019

Blind Connect Four


Actually, to be fully correct, this post should be titled "Connect Four for Students who are Visually Impaired", but that's just too long and unwieldy...

I covered one period of the visually impaired class while the teacher was at an IEP meeting. And we managed to get through their entire assignment with twenty plus minutes left to spare.

I asked what they do normally when the lesson runs short. They said they played a game the last time. The instructional aide suggested Connect Four. (There were two students in class.)

In case you were wondering (I was), someone had drilled holes in all the black checkers, so one could tell by touch which checkers were which.

The two girls played one game that finished very quickly. They said they were bored with it.

Really? Bored? That tells me that they weren't doing it right...

So, I sat down with them and went about teaching them a bit of strategy.

As a child I played many strategy games with my father. (Chess. Pente.) And he was merciless. (He still is.) He will place pieces in ways meant to confuse and distract me. I learned from an early age to pay close attention, think several steps ahead (what could he possibly do next? where could he win that I'm not seeing?), and never let my guard down.

After the first girl played her first checker, I talked each girl through her move. What should she look out for? Where could she win? Where could she make an error to let the other girl win? I explained how to think two to three moves ahead.

I have no idea if either learned something. That second game took considerably longer than the first. And then it was time for them to go.

16 comments:

  1. The last time I played Connect Four (I do like the game) was in a bar in Amsterdam. The barmaid CRUSHED me.
    The fact that I was in a bar may have had something to do with it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm impressed there's a whole class for the visually impaired. I don't think there was a single one back when I was in school (I'm guessing my school is a lot smaller than the one you were at).

    ReplyDelete
  3. You've started them thinking in a different way, Liz. That to me is what teaching is all about.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well, schooling has come a long way or maybe I'm just old. I can't remember any differently abled kids in the schools I went to. Excellent advise you gave those girls. I agree with Su-sieee.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They may have been bused to a different school. The school I was at is the school they're bused to in our part of the county. (They come from several different districts.)

      Delete
  5. That was great how your dad didn't let you win, so to speak, but made it challenging with the strategies. Maybe that's why you can do the complicated patterns you do with crocheting and knitting?

    betty

    ReplyDelete
  6. Maybe they learned something. You never know what will stick.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I like the imagery of you playing strategy games with your father. And well done working with these gals. My grandfather and I played lots of double solitaire in my childhood. I'm not good with strategy, perhaps in part due to the nature of that game. Heh... Be well!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had to do something. I couldn't just sit there and let them think it was a boring game.

      Delete
  8. You either taught them something or they realized they are not the brightest bulbs. Now that being said, i am not sure my bulb is working on full brightness

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, well, they probably have some cognitive issues as well. (They tend to have the students who can handle regular classes in regular classes.)

      Delete
  9. I bet they did learn something. I think it's easier to "see" strategy on a game like that so they may not have considered it before. Really was a great lesson for them. Kudos to you.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Yes, kudos to you, but I was also thinking, would chess pieces be easier for them to identify (since they are all shaped differently?) I'm so happy you took the time - that's a wonderful thing. Liz, back on the topic of small bags, maybe there's an Etsy opportunity for you here? I wonder how much you would charge to make a small crossbody fitting requirements of venues that now allow only small bags or clear ones.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure how much I'd charge. Pricing things is so hard.

      Delete
  11. Ah good thinking on the holes. I was wondering about that.

    ReplyDelete

I appreciate your comments.

I respond to comments via email, unless your profile email is not enabled. Then, I'll reply in the comment thread. Eventually. Probably.