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The Dyscalculia Toolkit
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The Dyscalculia Toolkit
Supporting Learning Difficulties in Maths

Fourth Edition
Additional resources:


April 2021 | 256 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Designed for all teachers, this book provides a wealth of materials and resources to support the needs of learners, aged 6 to 14 years, who have difficulty with maths and number.

Packed full with 220 activities and 55 games, the author provides you with a complete toolkit to enable you to understand dyscalculia and implement practical and innovative strategies to use in the classroom or at home.

This fourth edition is updated with new content including:

-          more on dice and board games, multiplication and division;

-          new downloadable and printable teaching materials (including tracking sheets, activity sheets, game boards and teaching resources);

-          updated videos.

 
Introduction
 
Section I: Early Number Work with Numbers Up to 10
Overview

 
What are the main problems?

 
Activity – Make dot patterns for the numbers 1 to 10

 
Activity – Focus on key component facts

 
Activity – Make transparent dot pattern cards for the numbers 1 to 5

 
Game – Make 5

 
Activity – Explore smaller numbers inside larger numbers

 
Game – Numbers Inside

 
Activity – Change one dot pattern into another

 
Activity – Change dot patterns by adding or subtracting

 
Activity – Use dot patterns to explore the idea of odd and even

 
Game – Collect 5s

 
Game – Key Components Guessing Game

 
Activity – Sort and re-sort a set of dominoes

 
Activity – Connect subtraction to addition

 
Activity – Regroup: Apply logic to find new component facts from given facts

 
Activities – Become familiar with Cuisenaire rods

 
Activity – Explore odd and even with Cuisenaire rods and with money

 
Game – Odd and Even Collectors

 
Game – Draw Your Race on a Number Line

 
Activities – Use Cuisenaire rods to learn all components of the numbers 1–10

 
Activity – Make a ‘Story’ of a number

 
Game – Race to Tell a Story

 
Activity – Make and read equations with Cuisenaire rods

 
Activity – Draw and record equations informally

 
Game – Key Facts Triad Game

 
Game – Post-It Note Subtraction

 
Activities – Record equations in writing

 
Activity – Make up word problems to match a given number fact

 
Game – Cover the Numbers, or Shut the Box

 
Game – Clear the Deck

 
Activity – Make a bead string, in two colours, of 10 beads

 
Activities – Learn complements of 10 with the bead string

 
Game – How Many Beads? How Many Are Hidden?

 
Activity – Find complements of 10 with Cuisenaire rods

 
Game – Complements Number Search

 
Game – Complements Ping-Pong

 
Game – Ten in a Bed

 
Activities – Explore and learn the doubles up to 5 plus 5

 
Activities – Estimate and measure using Cuisenaire rods

 
Activities – Focus on plus/minus 1 and plus/minus 2

 
Game – Who Has the Most Equations?

 
Game – Domino Tens

 
Activity – Compare the difference and equalise

 
Activities – Hidden quantity subtraction

 
Activity – Teach complementary addition

 
Activity – Complementary addition on a number line

 
Activity – Make up word problems about missing numbers

 
Activity – Use reasoning to find near-complements and near-doubles

 
Activity – Identify the best strategy for different situations

 
Activities – Use money for component work

 
 
SECTION 2: Basic Calculation with Numbers Above 10
Overview

 
What are the main problems?

 
How to help

 
Activity – Connect the numbers 10–20 with the numbers below 10

 
Game – Polka Dots

 
Game – Regroup

 
Activities – Focus on the ‘teen’ numbers

 
Activities – Explore the numbers between 10 and 20 with Cuisenaire rods

 
Activity – Learn the doubles up to 10 plus 10

 
Game – Double Take

 
Game – It All Adds Up

 
Activities – Locate 2-digit numbers and put them in context

 
Activities – Complements to 20

 
Activity – Complements to larger multiples of 10

 
Activity – Complements on a number line

 
Activity – Introduce bridging through 10 with Cuisenaire rods

 
Game – Five and What’s Left

 
Activity – Bridge through 10 on a number line

 
Activity – Practise bridging and reinforce the commutativity of addition

 
Game – Frame an Addition

 
Activity – Bridge through multiples of 10 on a number line

 
Game – Race Along a Number Line and Bridge

 
Game – Race to the End of the Number Line

 
Activity – Complementary addition, or subtraction by adding

 
Game – Frame a Subtraction

 
Activity – Complementary addition for subtracting round numbers

 
Activity – Harder complementary addition on a number line

 
Activities – Complements to 100

 
Game – Keep the Change!

 
Activities – Practise and extend the doubles facts

 
Activity – Halving is the opposite of doubling

 
Activity – Find half of round numbers

 
Activity – Function machines for doubling and halving

 
Activity – Use reasoning to find near-complements and near-doubles

 
Activity – 9 is almost 10

 
Activity – The Basic 8 strategies

 
Activity – Identify which strategy works best in different situations

 
Game – Subtraction Equations

 
Activity – A flexible approach to partitioning

 
Activities – Explore partitioning methods for 2-digit mental additions

 
Activity – Teach an expanded written method for column addition

 
Activity – Avoid decomposition in subtraction

 
 
SECTION 3: Place Value
Overview

 
A note about the threefold nature of the column labelling system

 
What are the main problems?

 
How to help

 
Activities – Exchange units into tens

 
Activities – Concrete counting on place value mats

 
Game – Magic 10s

 
Activities – Make a 20-step staircase and explore the ‘teen’ number names

 
Activity – Cover 20

 
Game – Race to Cover 100

 
Game – Four Throws to Reach 100

 
Activities – Make and read numbers made of Cuisenaire rods or base-10 materials

 
Games – Dice and spinner games

 
Activities – Practise subtraction and decomposition with concrete materials

 
Game – Spot the Decomposition

 
Activities – Use a spike abacus

 
Game – Win Counters on a 100-Square

 
Game – Race through a 100-Square

 
Activities – Practise adding and subtracting 10 and 100

 
Game – Steer the Number

 
Activity – Transform a 2-digit number in two steps

 
Activity – Teach the threefold repeating pattern: units, tens and hundreds

 
Activities – Explore place value as a shorthand

 
Activities – Read and write multi-digit numbers

 
Activities – Build up large numbers, one column at a time

 
Activity – What is the value of …?

 
Game – Two-Digit Sequences

 
Game – Three-Digit Sequences (Focus on Tens)

 
Game – Place Value Boxes

 
Game – Calculator Skittles

 
Activity – Partition numbers into tens and units in various ways

 
Activity – Split off the ‘teen’ numbers

 
Game – Jump 10

 
Activities – Locate any number on a number line

 
Activity – Round up or down

 
Game – The Six-Card Rounding Game

 
Game – The Rounding Challenge

 
Activity – Teach x 10 and divded by 10 as a shift between columns

 
Activity – Extend place value thinking to decimals

 
Activity – Connect decimal place value notation to money

 
Game – Rounding Races

 
 
SECTION 4: Times Tables, Multiplication and Division
Overview

 
What are the main problems?

 
How to help

 
Activities – Build small numbers out of equal-sized groups

 
Activity – Connect division to multiplication from the very beginning

 
Activity – Illustrate simple word problems

 
Activity – Use Cuisenaire rods to show that multiplication is commutative

 
Activities – Use Cuisenaire rods to connect multiplication and division

 
Activity – Diagrammatic recording of multiplication and division

 
Activity – Connect step-counting and repeated addition with times tables

 
Activity – Practise mental step-counting from given tables facts

 
Activities – Make times tables patterns on a 100-square

 
Activities – Make times tables patterns on number lines

 
Activities – Key fact: Double means ‘multiply by 2’

 
Activity – Key facts: x5 is half of x10

 
Activity – How many 10s? So, twice as many 5s

 
Activity – Key facts division practice

 
Activity – x9 is almost x10

 
Game – Don’t Walk if You Can Take the Bus

 
Activity – Find all the steps of any times table by reasoning from key facts

 
Activity – Practise all the steps of any times table by reasoning from key facts

 
Activity – Find division facts by reasoning from key facts

 
Game – Mouse Tables

 
Activity – Construct a multiplication grid

 
Activity – Complete a partially filled multiplication grid

 
Games using self-correcting cards to practise individual times tables

 
Game – Multiples from the 1–6 Times Tables

 
Activity – Harder mixed tables practice

 
Game – Products in a Row

 
Game – Factors

 
Activities – Change the shape of the multiplication rectangle

 
Game – Areas on a Grid

 
Activity – Use rectangle sketches to help derive new multiplication facts

 
Activity – Use rods to explore short division

 
Activity – Teach an expanded written notation for short division

 
Activity – Use rectangle sketches to support short division

 
Activity – Compare division sketches to multiplication sketches

 
Activity – Teach the divisibility rules

 
Game – Divisibility Rules

 
Activity – Boxes for long multiplication

 
 
Recommended Books and Resources
 
Appendix: Introduction to Concrete Manipulative Materials

I have used the previous edition of this book and it is an excellent source of practical activities and guidance. It works alongside the resource book

Mrs Geraldine Anita Parks
Department of Education, St Mary's University College (Belfast)
July 2, 2021

This fourth edition is updated with new content including:

-          more on dice and board games, multiplication and division;

-          new downloadable and printable teaching materials (including tracking sheets, activity sheets, game boards and teaching resources);

-          updated videos.

Ronit Bird

Ronit Bird is a teacher whose interest in pupils with specific learning difficulties began with a focus on dyslexia. She qualified as a teacher at London University and subsequently gained a further qualification as a specialist teacher of learners with SpLD. While working with dyslexic pupils in a mainstream school, Ronit started to develop strategies and teaching activities to help support the learning of pupils who were experiencing difficulties in maths.Ronit has taught in both primary and secondary settings, and has worked as a SENCO in both the independent and state sectors. As part of the Harrow Dyscalculia Project in 2006–2010,... More About Author