The Trouble with Maths: A practical guide to helping learners with numeracy difficulties, 3rd Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Trouble with Maths

A practical guide to helping learners with numeracy difficulties, 3rd Edition

By Steve Chinn, Steve Chinn


176 pages

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Now in third edition, with updates to reflect developments in our understanding of learning difficulties in maths, this award-winning text provides vital insights into the often confusing world of numeracy. By looking at learning difficulties in maths and dyscalculia from several perspectives, including the vocabulary and language of maths, thinking styles and the demands of individual procedures, this book provides a complete overview of the most frequently occurring problems associated with maths teaching and learning. Drawing on tried-and-tested methods based on research and Steve Chinn’s years of classroom experience, it provides an authoritative yet accessible one-stop classroom resource.

Combining advice, guidance and practical activities, this user-friendly guide will help you to:

  • develop flexible thinking styles
  • use alternative strategies to replace an over-reliance on rote learning for pupils trying to access basic facts
  • understand the implications of underlying skills, such as working memory, on learning
  • implement effective pre-emptive measures before demotivation sets in
  • recognise the manifestations of maths anxiety and tackle affective domain problems
  • find approaches to solve word problems
  • select appropriate materials and visual images to enhance understanding.

With useful features such as checklists for the evaluation of books and a comprehensive overview of resources, this book will equip you with essential skills to help you tackle your pupils’ maths difficulties and improve standards. This book will be useful for all teachers, classroom assistants, learning support assistants and parents.


Patricia Babtie and Jane Emerson

Steve’s Chinn book The Trouble with Maths has long been an essential part of any special needs teacher’s toolkit. It does need to be updated

Judy Hornigold - Lecturer in Dyscalculia and Dyslexia for the BDA and Edge Hill University. Trainer for Singapore Maths

The current edition of the book is very practical and accessible. It is comprehensive, covering a wide range of aspects of maths difficulties and is very helpful for teachers trying to understand the specific difficulties that their students have with Maths.

Do you recommend that we publish an updated edition?


Steve’s books are very well respected and well known and are generally the first port of call for someone looking for information on dyscalculia and maths difficulties generally.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Mathematics Learning Difficulties and dyscalculia 2. Factors that affect learning 3. What the curriculum asks pupils to do and where difficulties may occur 4. Thinking style and mathematics 5. Developmental perspectives 6. The vocabulary and language of maths 7. Anxiety and attributions 8. The inconsistencies of maths 9. Manipulatives, materials and visual images: multisensory learning 10. The nasties…long division and fractions Appendix 1 Further reading Appendix 2 Checklists Appendix 3 Resources References Index

About the Authors

Steve Chinn is a Visiting Professor at the University of Derby and is also author of More Trouble with Maths: A complete guide to identifying and diagnosing mathematical difficulties, 2nd edition and editor of The Routledge International Handbook of Dyscalculia and Mathematical Learning Difficulties.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Teaching Methods & Materials / Mathematics
EDUCATION / Inclusive Education