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Mathematics for Dyslexics and Dyscalculics: A Teaching Handbook, 4th Edition

ISBN: 978-1-119-15996-4
360 pages
January 2017, Wiley-Blackwell
Mathematics for Dyslexics and Dyscalculics: A Teaching Handbook, 4th Edition (1119159962) cover image


A seminal handbook in the field for more than 20 years, this new and updated edition of Mathematics for Dyslexicsand Dyscalculics contains the latest research and best practices for helping learners with numerical and mathematical difficulties.

  • Provides a complete overview of theory and research in the fields of dyslexia and dyscalculia, along with detailed yet pragmatic methods to apply in the classroom
  • Contains enhanced coverage of place value and the role of the decimal point, why fractions can challenge a developed logic for arithmetic, and the complexity of time along with new material on addressing anxiety, fear, motivation, and resilience in the classroom; and links to new resources including standardized tests and recommended reading lists
  • Written by two mathematics teachers with 50 years of teaching experience between them, much of it in specialist settings for students with specific learning difficulties
  • Offers effective teaching strategies for learners of all ages in a structured but accessible format
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Table of Contents

Foreword xi

1 Dyscalculia, Dyslexia and Mathematics 1

Introduction 1

Definitions of Dyslexia 3

The Evolution of Definitions of (Developmental) Dyscalculia 5

The Nature of Mathematics and the Ways it is Taught 19

2 Factors that may Contribute to Learning Difficulties in Mathematics 23

Potential Areas of Difficulty in Learning Mathematics 24

General Principles of Intervention 44

Summary 46

3 Cognitive (Thinking) Style in Mathematics 48

Introduction 48

Qualitative and Quantitative Style 49

Cognitive (Thinking) Style in the Classroom 51

Examples 54

Summary 61

4 Testing and Diagnosis 62

A Diagnostic Test Protocol 64

Structure of the Diagnostic Protocol 65

Attitude and Anxiety 73

Thinking Style or Cognitive Style 74

Tests for Dyscalculia 74

Summary of the Test Protocol 74

5 Concept of Number 76

Introduction 76

Early Recognition of Numbers and Their Values 78

The Language of Mathematics (see also Chapter 2) 79

Early Number Work 79

Visual Sense of Number 82

Visual Clues to Number Concept 83

Number Bonds/Combinations 84

Place Value 86

Number Bonds/Combinations for Ten 93

Numbers Near Ten, Hundred or Thousand 94

Summary 95

6 Addition and Subtraction: Basic Facts/Number Combinations 96

Introduction 96

Strategies for Learning/Remembering the Addition and Subtraction Facts 99

Overview 107

Subtraction Facts 108

Extension 109

7 The Times Tables Facts/Number Combinations 110

Introduction 110

Rote Learning Strategies 110

Learning by Understanding 113

The Commutative Property 115

Learning the Table Square 117

Summary 135

8 Computational Procedures for Addition and Subtraction 136

Estimation 138

Addition 138

Teaching Subtraction as a Separate Exercise 147

9 Multiplication 152

Introduction 152

Multiplying by Ten and Powers of Ten 153

Multiplication 157

Estimation 163

Extension 163

10 Division: Whole Numbers 165

Introduction 165

Introduction to Division 166

Estimating 172

Division by Powers of Ten 173

Division by Multiples of Powers of Ten 174

Conclusion 174

11 Fractions, Decimals and Percentages: An Introduction 175

Introduction 175

Fractions 176

Decimals 187

Percentages 195

Overview 203

12 Operating with Fractions 204

Introduction 204

Making Segment Sizes the Same 205

Comparing Fractions 207

Combining Fractions 210

Adding Fractions 212

Subtracting Fractions 216

Combined Additions and Subtractions 219

Multiplying by Fractions 221

Multiplying Mixed Fractions 224

Dividing with Fractions 227

13 Decimals 232

Introduction 232

Addition and Subtraction 232

Multiplication and Division by Powers of Ten 235

Division of Decimals 242

Summary 249

14 Percentages 250

Introduction 250

An Image of Percentage 250

Summary 256

15 Time 257

What are the Potential Problems with Time? 258

Reading the Time 260

Time Problems 264

Summary 268

16 Teaching the Full Curriculum 269

Introduction 269

Some General Principles 270

Teaching the Other Parts of the Curriculum 277

Combining the Parts of the Curriculum 282

Summary 286

17 Attacking and Checking Questions 287

Practice Examples 287

Preliminary Checks 288

Attacking Questions 290

Methods of Attacking Questions 291

Checking 298

18 Important Elements of a Teaching Programme 303

Introduction 303

Consider the Pupils’ Needs 303

The Structure of the Course 304

Classroom Management: Making the Lessons Suit the Pupils 308

Evolving Expectations and Emphases 309

Internal Assessment 313

Summary 315


Appendix 1: Books, Journals, Tests and Games 316

Appendix 2: Teaching Materials 321

References 324

Index 337

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Author Information

Steve Chinnis an independent lecturer, writer, and researcher, and Visiting Professor at the University of Derby, UK. He spent twenty-four years as head teacher of three specialist schools and was a mainstream teacher for fourteen years. He was Founder and Principal of Mark College in Somerset, UK, a specialist residential school for young people with specific learning difficulties. In 2011 he set up and chaired the BDA’s first subcommittee on dyscalculia. He has received the Marion Welchman International Award for Services to Dyslexia, and the Lady Radnor Award for Lifetime Services to Dyslexia. He has lectured and taught in over 30 countries worldwide and has spoken at many major conferences. He is the author of numerous books, including The Trouble with Maths (3rdedition, 2016), The Routledge International Handbook of Dyscalculia and Mathematical Learning Difficulties(2015), More Trouble with Maths: A Complete Guide to Identifying and Diagnosing Mathematical Difficulties (2nd edition 2016), and The Fear of Maths (3rdedition, 2011).

Richard Ashcroft was Headmaster at Mark College, UK, a specialist residential school for young people with specific learning difficulties. He taught mathematics at the secondary school level for almost 25 years. During his teaching career, he developed a series of teaching resources specifically for dyslexic students. He retired in 2006.

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