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Overcoming Difficulties with Number

Overcoming Difficulties with Number
Supporting Dyscalculia and Students who Struggle with Maths

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168 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
In writing this practical book, Ronit Bird draws on her teaching and training experience to create teaching plans for key numeracy topics aimed at those working with students aged 9-16.



She provides detailed strategies for teaching numeracy skills through a progression of practical activities and visualisation techniques which build the self-esteem of students who need extra help and give them a basic foundation in number. While the plans cover the National Numeracy Strategy, they can also be used in any setting where maths is being taught.


Topics covered include:

- games and puzzles for learning number components

- bridging

- multiplication

- division

- reasoning strategies


A bank of accompanying resources, games, activities and Su-Doku puzzles is available for the reader to download from the SAGE website.


This is an ideal resource for both class teachers and maths subject teachers, , and is equally useful for teaching assistants and learning support assistants

More Than 50 Ideas to Help Pupils Stop Counting in Ones
Pre-Skills for Learning the Bridging Technique
Bridging through 10
Bridging through Multiples of 10
Pre-Skills for the Area Model of Multiplication and Division
The Area Model of Multiplication and Division
Making the Transition from the Area Model to Standard Written Algorithms for Short and Long Multiplication
Making the Transition from the Area Model to Standard Written Algorithms for Short and Long Division
Reasoning Strategies

'She really knows what she is talking about when it comes to maths and dyscalculia and can provide the right type games and help for both teachers and parents. This is fast becoming my maths bible in my work with pupils who are struggling with maths' -
Amazon Review

'The beauty of this book is that it provides so many well-sequenced activities in one easy-to-use resource...[This book] would be a valuable addition to the shelves of both the numeracy co-ordinator of a primary school and the secondary mathematics department [as well as] a most useful resource for those involved with the recently launched One to One Tuition Programme'
Support for Learning

'Ronit Bird is one of the most skilled and experienced teachers of learners suffering from dyscalculia. Her approach is based on years of reflective practice but also a deep understanding of the roots of numerical difficulties and disabilities. She stresses the importance of starting with concrete and manipulable materials before moving on to more symbolic materials. Her teaching scheme building systematically on the basis of the learner's current understanding, rather than on mechanical measures of performance. This seems to me of fundamental importance. Overcoming Difficulties with Number provides a wealth of numerical activities and games, taking the most effective from a range of sources, including Cuisenaire rods and domino patterns for the earliest stages where learners are still counting in ones. As learners progress, clear methods for reasoning about more complex numbers are introduced. She provides very lucid methods for areas where many children, not just dyscalculics, have great difficulty, such as solving 5½ x 1½ or (x+1)(x+3) using grids. I highly recommend this book for teachers and teaching assistants who deal with children who have number troubles, but I also believe that most teachers of early maths will find much that is helpful with all learners' - Professor Brian Butterworth, University College London

'I have tried some of the activities with pairs in a whole class situation and they work very well, particularly with children struggling to remember facts through traditional methods (that are not always particularly successful with many) or with younger children learning to count and memorize number facts for the first time' - Mike Eatwell, Deputy Headteacher, Bristol

'The best part of the book for me is the range of resources in the appendices and the discussion of classroom activities. I like the way the activities are tightly focused on the four operations and yet have a wide variety of approaches e.g. Suduko, Connect 4 etc.' - Clare Creasor, Senior Lecturer in Mathematics Education, Edge Hill University

A useful practical guide to students on our numeracy difficulties course.

Mrs Jan Beechey
Education and Training , Dyslexia Action
October 24, 2016

A very insightful look at overcoming difficulties with number, some great exercises and games that will really encourage and engage learners!

Stuart Costello, Functional skills Tutor, CERT Ltd

Mr Stuart Costello
Training and Development , CERT Ltd
February 16, 2015

This is an excellent resource for teaching learners with mathematical difficulties. I find it a very helpful resource for the children I work with as senco/specialist teacher and in my role as lecturer on the MA dyslexia course.
The book sets out clear explanations and resources to build from the foundations of mathematics.

Miss Rebecca Tall
Faculty of Edu & Children's Services, Chester University
January 27, 2015

Very useful for the SLD module of the add dip.

Mr Peter Lyon
professional development, Ealing, Hammersmith & W.London College
December 8, 2014

An informative text to support children with dyscalculia or children that struggle with maths. A wide range of targeted supportive mathematical games are offered which build confidence in number skills.

Mr Manish Kothari
Department of Education, St Mary's University College
October 25, 2013

Very useful - recommend it regularly to staff in school as well as PGCE students

Ms Jude Stratton
Westminster Institute of Education, Oxford Brookes University
October 3, 2013

This book is very useful and full of lots of practical advice, ideas and games for helping students with dyscalculia. A really useful book.

Miss Sarah Coulson
Care, Sport and Leisure, Tyne Metropolitan College
July 22, 2013

This text provides some useful information for students working with children who have additional support needs or who have challenges in their understanding of number processes.

Mrs Shelagh Whyte
CPS, Strathclyde University
July 2, 2013

A fabulous book with lots of ideas and activities for fostering numerosity and mathematical skills in general. Although the recommended ages are 9-16 I have very successfully used many of the activities with FE students.

Mrs Linda Crittenden
Learning Support, Mid Kent College of Higher & F.E.
February 15, 2013

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter One