Overcoming Difficulties With Number 
by Ronit Bird

In writing this practical book, Ronit Bird has drawn 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 on the CD included with this book. 
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 & division 
The area model of multiplication & division 
Making the transition to written short and long multiplication 
Making the transition to written short and long division 
Reasoning strategies 
List of suggestions for further reading 
Appendices and resources


'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.' -
Claire Creason, Senior Lecturer in Mathematics Education, Edge Hill University

'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... would be a valuable addition to the shelves of both the numeracy co-ordinator of a primary school and the secondary mathematics department 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 5 ¢ x 1 ¢ 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



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