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Using Math-U-See with a Color Vision Deficiency

How can I use Math-U-See with a color blind or color vision deficient student?

Color blindness is also known as color vision deficiency. Since the Math-U-See curriculum uses colorful manipulative blocks to teach the concepts, parents with a student with a color vision deficiency may be wondering how to use Math-U-See effectively.  

The manipulative blocks are visual representations of numbers, and students often associate the color with the number that the block represents. It is very important for the student to be able to recognize which number each block represents. For a student with color vision deficiency, the blocks that are lighter in color may be difficult for students to quickly differentiate depending on the degree of color vision deficiency.  

An effective strategy is to write the numerical value the block represents in a black permanent marker on the manipulative.  We suggest writing the number on the top of the block; ask your student where it is most helpful for them to see that number visually. This can allow students to visually recognize the block without having to count the bumps or rely on recognizing the color.


For some students, it can also be helpful to take one block of each number, unit through 10, and outline the bumps on top in a black sharpie marker so they can visually see the pattern for each block as well. With these modifications in place, your student with color vision deficiency can successfully use Math-U-See. 

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