Reviews: Maths for SpLD, + 101 inclusive Science and Computing lessons

Reviews: Maths for SpLD, plus 101 inclusive Science and Computing lessons !

A new giveaway today – in fact, TWO! Two SEN books for one for maths, and one covering science and computing, both from Jessica Kingsley Publishers* Plus, JKP are offering an exclusive 20% discount if you buy via their site using the code SNJ

You can put in for the giveaways for one or both books at the end of the reviews. You have just two weeks to enter this giveaway as we'll have a Christmas one coming up right after. These books are great for primary or SEN teachers, as well as for parents who want to help their children or are homeschooling. I think the science and computing one is especially good for rainy-day activities the kids during the holidays.

101 Inclusive and SEN Science and Computing Lessons Claire Brewer and Kate Bradley

These fun activities and lesson plans for children aged 3 – 11 are part of the 101 series from JKP Books. You can find our review for the Maths and English versions here

101science coverThis book is split into separate sections for Science and for Computing, each with numbered activities that explain the learning objective, extra skills learned and resources needed to complete the activity. The activity is simply explained in bullet points with extra ideas at the end of each for putting away and consolidating learning. The activities are fun, imaginative and designed to make these subjects accessible for children who are finding the usual teaching methods hard to get to grips with and are tailored to objectives for children working below National Curriculum levels
Additionally, the lessons contain visual stimulus and aim to promote fine and gross motor skills.
The writers are experienced practitioners, who work with SEND learners in both mainstream and specialist classrooms.
The book is not only great for classroom use but also for parents who are home-schooling as the clear explanations mean you don’t need to be an expert in the subject to get the most out of the activity.

Maths, learning difficulties, dyslexia and dyscalculia by Steve Chinn

This is the second edition of this book by Steve Chinn, who’s described as ‘a world authority on maths difficulties in children’ this accessible guide provides tried and tested visual strategies and tailored techniques to help teachers and parents support children with SpLDs who need help with maths.maths Chinn cover
It’s a guide for teachers and parents helping children with maths difficulties that uses research into cognition and meta-cognition (thinking about how and what you are thinking), It offers an insight into how maths learning difficulties, including dyslexia, dyscalculia and maths anxiety, can make maths difficult for children (and adults) to grasp.
This was of particular interest as my youngest had a unique learning style for maths that defied his mainstream primary teacher’s understanding but got him the right answer. He could work out difficult sums using large numbers with ease, but found simple addition or subtraction could bring him up short. The specialist school we moved him to had no such problems and he ended up with a high grade at GCSE. Therefore, it’s clear to me that it’s not the child who was at fault, but the way maths was being explained to him. This book should help non-specialist teachers understand why some learners don’t ‘get’ the methods they’ve been taught during their teacher training and, crucially, give them tools for helping their pupils succeed.
It’s well laid out and easy to follow, using visual tools and illustrations to explain everything from number bonds, to addition and subtraction, to fractions, time, measurement and percentages, as well as every stage in between.
Each chapter looks at foundational areas of maths learning that children may struggle with, and looks at why learners may find usual teaching methods don’t work for them, creating barriers to understanding. These include working memory problems, processing speeds, a different cognitive style and the vocabulary of maths. It emphasises how to help them understand the key concepts and how they interlink to support further numerical skills development.
Again this is an essential book for both primary and SEN teachers, as well as for parents who want to help their children with maths but really don’t understand how to.

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Tania Tirraoro

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