# Maths presents us with one overwhelming problem: if you missed the last bit, you can’t do the next bit.

While it may not be desirable, a pupil or student can make sense of history lessons on the second world war without studying the first world war. In other words, history doesn’t have to be taught from the start.

But maths is not like that. It needs to be taught in a sequence, and if a pupil or student fails to grasp (for example) division, there is no chance of the individual subsequently understanding fractions.

Unfortunately, quite often it is very difficult to go back and revise earlier pointS with those who either through absence, or lack of attention, or dyscalculia, have failed to grasp one or more of the fundamentals of maths.

Indeed, it can bbe quite difficult to spot the pupils and students who have missed out on an early part of maths, when something more complex is being studied. Without going back to the very start one doesn’t know exactly what bit of mathematical knowledge is missing.

Which is why we have Tests for Dyscalculia.

Tests for Dyscalculia allows you to undertake a series of straightforward tests in the classroom which will enable you to find out exactly where the specific difficulties lie. Once this has been done, you can then turn to appropriate remedial teaching to overcome these particular problems.

Tests for Dyscalculia contains over 80 separate tests. You can choose exactly which tests to use based on your initial knowledge about the child’s work. Each test is wholly independent, and there is no requirement that a pupil should undertake one test before taking on any other.

Likewise there is no age limit for the tests – they are mathematically specific as opposed to age specific. As a teacher you can select the concepts that you know your pupils ought to be able to handle at a particular age, and then test to check that there is indeed an understanding of those concepts.

The tests search for difficulties with written and aural perception and cover topics from a basic recognition of number, “high”, “low” and the four basic functions, up to decimals, fractions, money, estimations, shapes and area.

No special knowledge or training is required in order to use this volume. The tests come in fully photocopiable form, so that they may be used an indefinite number of times within the school.

You can read a summary of the six reasons for acute failure in mathematics, and the appropriate responses to the six reasons for acute failure on our sample pages from the book at pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/dyscalculia/t1631.pdf

Publisher’s reference: T1631EMN ISBN: 978 1 86083 673 2

Prices
Photocopiable report in a ring binder: £49.95 plus £3.95 delivery
CD with school-wide rights: £49.95 plus £3.95 delivery
Both the Ring Binder and the CD: £56.94 plus £3.95 delivery

Prices include VAT.

You can purchase the report… please quote the order ref: T1631EMN
By post to First and Best, Hamilton House, Earlstrees Ct., Earlstrees Way, Corby, NN17 4HH
By phone to 01536 399007

By fax to 01536 399 012
On line with a credit card at http://shop.firstandbest.co.uk/product_info.php?cPath=29&products_id=460

# What is a meaningful argument (and how can I have one?)

Everyone has arguments. Some people seem to have them all the time, others back away from them quickly and do anything to avoid any form of confrontation.

But what enables one person to win lots of debates and arguments, while another seems never to win at all?

Of course, force of personality and an access to relevant facts can help, as can be being a confident natural speaker with a winning smile.

But even so there is more – and there is no doubt that when students actually understand the nature of debate and proof they tend not only to get better A level grades and be better prepared for university and/or employment, but they also win more arguments.

In short, for many students it is a grasp of critical thinking which takes them from a C to a B and a B to an A, which delivers a far more impressive UCAS application, and which enables them to be much more persuasive in interviews and presentations.

The problem for students is that the issue of argument and debate is not just common sense. Even if they get to grips with the difference between such concepts as “claims” and “arguments”, there still remain such puzzling issues as explanations, assumptions, counter-claims, evidence, examples, deduction, induction, generalisation…

It is for these reasons that the volume “Critical Thinking” has been written.

For “Critical Thinking” is about far more than just dismantling and evaluating other people’s arguments; it is also about putting together the student’s own explanations and arguments.

Through examples and activities the volume encourages students to develop their considered point of view in essays, reports, debates, etc, and helps them be prepared to stand back and assess their own reasoning.

Critical Thinking is available as a printed copiable volume or as a CD which can be put on the school’s learning platform for use by students and staff.

You can see some sample pages at http://pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/english/T1821.pdf

Publisher’s reference:T1821EMN; ISBN: 978 1 86083 861 3

Prices:

Photocopiable report in a book: £29.95
CD with school-wide rights: £24.95
Both the book and the CD: £36.94
Prices include VAT.

You can purchase the report… please quote the order ref: T1821EMN

By post to First and Best, Hamilton House, Earlstrees Ct., Earlstrees Way, Corby, NN17 4HH
By fax to 01536 399 012
On line with a credit card at http://shop.firstandbest.co.uk/product_info.php?cPath=21&products_id=154