I have written a range of materials for maths including books, worksheets, a test of thinking style and many papers. My book, 'The Trouble with Maths', won a major SEN award in 2004. 'More Trouble with Maths' has been translated into Norwegian. 'Mathematics for Dyslexics and Dyscalculics' will be translated into Mandarin in 2016. An appropriately modified edition of 'Mathematics Learning Difficulties, Dyslexia and Dyscalculia' will be published in India in 2016.

The International Handbook

International Handbook

I compiled and edited the Routledge International Handbook of Dyscalculia and Mathematical Learning Difficulties published in 2015. Contributing authors include: Daniel Ansari, Mark Ashcraft, Robert Ashlock, Lynn Fuchs, David Geary, Russell Gersten, Nancy Jordan, Bob Reeves, Karin Landerl and Robert Siegler.
This is a collection of wisdom from many of the top experts in the world

Diagnosis and assessment

Worksheets Plus Set
From the Foreword by Professor Maggie Snowling: This is an astonishing book! It should be on the shelves of all professionals in the field of maths education and educational assessment

ISBN 978-0-415-67013-5

More Trouble with Maths includes photo-copiable norm-referenced tests for achievement (standardised for ages 7 to 59 years old) , basic facts (standardised for ages 7 to 15 years old), maths anxiety (standardised for 11 to 15 years old), cognitive style and a dyscalculia checklist.


From the TES, 24 August, 2012

"MATHS: Resource of the week:

‘In More Trouble with Maths, Chinn provides research evidence and tests to photocopy for identifying crucial mathematical difficulties that are prevalent in schools. Amid the coverage on conditions such as dyscalculia, there are also fascinating sections about learners’ struggles with estimation and the crucial impact of short-term memory. The book makes fascinating reading, but more importantly, it will have a long-term positive effect on my teaching and my understanding of the difficulties many learners find with mathematics.’ Craig Barton, TES subject advisor for secondary maths

From: Dr Michael Thomson
Chartered Educational Psychologist, East Court Assessment Centre"

"Steve Chinn's book builds on his previous informative books on maths difficulties.  The book's main focus is providing assessment and diagnostic routines for maths or 'dyscalculic' difficulties. These are particularly well thought out as they have both standardised tests- there are hardly any reliable or detailed enough ones available elsewhere- as well as qualitative frameworks for evaluating mathematical problems, with plenty of real life examples.  The assessment procedures are clearly linked to suggestions for intervention. If I didn't know it already, the experience of Steve Chinn as a teacher, as well as an expert in dyscalculia and similar difficulties, shines through. There are invaluable photocopiable materials. I will be using this in my Educational Psychology assessment practice. It is a must resource for anyone who is serious about evaluating mathematical difficulties in children or adults."

'Mathematics Learning Difficulties, Dyslexia and Dyscalculia', written for the BDA's 40th Anniversary series, was published in 2012 by the BDA.It is their best-selling title from that series of ten books.


Worksheets Plus Set
The eight book set of Worksheets Plus are once again in print.
They are available from SEN Marketing

Although Worksheets Plus have been written around the syllabus for Years 4 and 5, they are designed not to be age-specific in appearance. Thus they can be used for intervention for older students, especially as they cover many of the key topics needed for progress in numeracy. The 'Plus' refers to the guidelines given with each book as to the problems that each topic may create for a learner and an overview of the approaches that may be helpful in addressing these problems. The Worksheets have been designed to address one topic at a time, to be uncluttered and manageable and to help the development of maths skills and knowledge.

NEW Worksheets are being created to replace this series


Addressing the Unproductive Classroom Behaviours of Students with Special Needs

'Addressing the Unproductive Classroom Behaviours of Students with Special Needs', was published by Jessica Kingsley in 2010. This book, a departure from my usual maths books, is based on research done with colleagues in Ireland and the Netherlands. It takes a pragmatic approach to identifying and addressing unproductive classroom behaviours

All the author's royalties go to the Majika school, Hazey View, South Africa. This book was short-listed for a nasen award in 2011


I have written chapters for several books including:-

Practical Guides to individual topics in math

What to when you can't Set

The 'What to do when you can't' titles published by Egon Publishers Ltd have been re-written, updated and three more titles have been added to the series:

  • WTDWYC Add and Subtract
  • WTDWYC Learn the Times Tables
  • WTDWYC Multiply and Divide
  • WTDWYC Tell the Time
  • WTDWYC Do Fractions, Decimals and Percentages

These highly accessible books are written for parents, older pupils, students and adults and offer a non-patronising, consistent and developing pathway through basic arithmetic. The 'What to do when you can't" series are available from Egon Publishing

The Trouble with Maths cover

The award winning book:

The Trouble with Maths: A Practical Guide to Helping Learners with Numeracy Difficulties. Steve Chinn. Pub RoutledgeFalmer, ISBN 0 415 67010-4.
The 3rd edition will be published in 2016.

REVIEWS of Second Edition:

From the PATOSS Bulletin, Summer 2012   

Those of you familiar with the name Steve Chinn know that he specialises in helping make mathematics more accessible to dyscalculic and other ‘numerically challenged’ learners. For over twenty years, Chinn has been a teacher, subsequently headteacher of three, founder of one, specialist schools for learners with specific learning difficulties. He is now an independent lecturer with an informative website advising on mathematics difficulties.

Many readers like myself will have read the earlier edition of The Trouble with Maths. I found the new book, partly due to its larger pages and more dyslexia-friendly layout even more accessible. Though Chinn has worked in the secondary sector, the book is for any teacher, classroom and learning support assistant who works with any age pupil who underachieves in maths for any myriad of reasons..
The introduction explains difficulties in mathematics and dyscalculia, giving very thorough explanations of what learners need to be good at mathematics’. His article, written for Dyslexia Review is re-printed in its entirety; it is an excellent summary of the research history and definitions of dyscalculia.

The second chapter ‘factors that affect learning’ analyses typical problems in maths such as working memory, directionality, short and long term memory, and gives suggestions to try. The variety and flexibility of the different suggestions is excellent. Chinn shows real understanding of how different approaches for different pupils have to be. The chapters ‘What the curriculum asks pupils to do and where difficulties may occur’, ‘Thinking styles and maths’, ‘The vocabulary and language of maths’ explore how to help pupils with practical suggestions. Chapters on ‘Developmental perspectives’, Anxiety and attributions’ explain the attitudes and psychology of maths learners. The chapter on the ‘Inconsistencies of maths’ details many of the ways learners can be confused by the illogical aspects of maths and helps a teacher see it from the perspective of a struggling pupil. Included is a hilarious explanation of the strange language in telling time as explained by ‘Dr Algy B’rah’. A chapter on ‘manipulatives and materials’ gives good practical advice and recommendations for materials to use, particularly for secondary age pupils who may be put off by the primary colours of materials from their younger years. The book closes with a very useful and sympathetic explanation of ‘The nasties: long division and fractions’.

Particularly noticeable and likeable in this book is the flexibility, detail and variety of guidance, the confidence and reliability of the advice and , last but not least, the sympathetic understanding and explanations of how many learners with difficulties perceive maths.

I like this book very much and am beginning to consider it, if not a personal friend, at least as an ally in my eternal quest to help pupils understand, perhaps even enjoy, mathematics more. I’ve always used games in my mats teaching and consider myself sympathetic and flexible in my approach to different learning styles. This book takes me beyond that – it’s the underlying thinking skills and strategies that I find so exciting and which I am adding to my arsenal of mathematics teaching skills.

The Trouble with Maths is highly recommended as an endless source of assessment skills, ides, strategies and guidance for anyone involved in working with pupils in mathematics, particularly those known to be having difficulties. I see no reason why the insights and approaches here wouldn’t help improve the teaching of many a mathematics teacher. After ll there is a large number of pupils, including grown adults, who claim very openly to be ‘no good at maths’, which observation recalls the mathematics teacher who complained to me ‘how proud some people seem of being no good at maths, whereas people would never boast about not being able to read’. Indeed. But maths teachers find the subject easier than those people and perhaps therein lies one of the real difficulties. As Chinn writes, ‘the main issues here is not that every child or adult who is failing in mathematics is dyscalculic even for those who do not gain this label, it does not predict an outcome, but, it does suggest to me that whatever teaching experiences this dyscalculic pupil has had, they have not been appropriate’ (italics added). What is most encouraging that it is possible to change a pupil’s anti-maths attitude and disability. Chinn knows from ‘ten years of data on pupils’ at his last school ‘that it is possible for most pupils to change a history of low gains in maths age .... to gains of over twelve months per year’ and by doing so, radically change a life history of underachievement in maths.

Review from the Amazon website:

This book lives up to its subtitle completely; it is indeed a practical guide to helping learners with numeracy difficulties. There is a fascinating introduction to dyscalculia and numeracy difficulties - Steve Chinn is a master at the art of interesting academic writing. He informs at the highest level without ever losing your interest.

Vital facts are summarised in bullet point format that make skim reading easy. Crucially, problems are not just described, but solutions are offered. Not just one or two solutions for general problems, but pages of them.

General reference throughout is made to the school curriculum rather than the adult numeracy curriculum but this does not mean that the book is not of value to those in adult learning. Many of the suggested resources can be quickly and easily prepared, building up a valuable bank of aids to support lessons.

There is a lengthy and detailed section on thinking styles in mathematics (inchworm/grasshopper) which really informs those wishing to know about the topic - a great reference for trainee teachers/tutors.

Not the cheapest resource but an invaluable one for aspiring and existing assistants, tutors and teachers. A goldmine of ideas for making numeracy sessions inclusive for all.

Written for parents and adult dyslexics.

Dealing with Dyscalcula Cover

The third edition was published in August 2011, re-titled, ‘The Fear of Maths and How to Overcome It’. It has been updated significantly.

Review of the second Edition by "Special, the NASEN magazine"

Dyscalculia is a specific learning difficulty that affects how people deal with number and number-related tasks. It has a significant effect on a person's self-esteem and self confidence, often causing them to give up on mathematics.

This book is an inspirational read for anyone experiencing difficulty with mathematics and for those working with and supporting them. The text is well structured and the ideas are set out simply, making it easily accessible for a wide range of readers. It is particularly encouraging in that it starts from a very basic level, ensuring that even the most profoundly dyscalculic person is not 'put off' by not having enough skills or knowledge to even start the book.

Teachers looking at this book will find that it provides a fascinating approach to helping pupils of all ages to work confidently with numbers. As you work through the book it provides a clear introduction to some quite difficult areas of mathematics, such as decimals, fractions and percentages, and introduces important everyday number skills. Any teacher who reads this book will change the way they approach and teach mathematics, particularly in the early years, and will have pupils who achieve far better and with a greater degree of confidence.

The case studies give an excellent insight into how people with dyscalculia approach mathematical tasks, and illustrate the importance of allowing them to learn in the style that is best suited to them. The first case study, Ann, shows the devastating and life-long effect dyscalculia can have a on a person's confidence and the stress and anxiety it can cause. Some of the case studies make reference to other areas of the curriculum that can be affected by a difficulty with number-related tasks. A second book that addresses this aspect of dyscalculia would make an interesting read.

This book is excellent value for money; no teacher of mathematics should be without it. The only improvement I would suggest is that the inclusion of some colour illustrations would help make some of the points clearer.

Mathematics for Dyslexics
'Mathematics for Dyslexics, including Dyscalculia' (2007) 3rd edition, written with Richard Ashcroft and published by Wiley

A 4th edition will be published in 2016

Mathematics for Dyslexics, including Dyscalculia will be translated into Mandarin and published in 2016

The 3rd Edition of this seminal book discusses the factors that contribute to the potential difficulties dyslexic learners may have with mathematics, and suggests ways of addressing these difficulties.

The first chapters consider the theoretical background. The later chapters look at practical methods which may help dyslexic learners.

The book is a thorough and comprehensive text to help teachers to help understand the students' needs and to learn a range of skills and thus develop confidence and competence in working with dyslexic pupils who struggle with maths.

Rated 4.8/5 *
Review from Amazon site.

Although written with the dyslexic and dyscalculic child in mind, this book is of tremendous value to all those involved in education. It works on so many levels - as a guide to what dyscalculia is, as an explanation of the difficulties those with dyscalculia may face and as a source book for strategies to overcome the difficulties.

I adapted one of Professor Chinn's strategies on teaching place value for a wonderfully successful lesson teaching adults with moderate learning difficulties - they loved it. This book is not cheap - but it's worth every penny. There is more information crammed into these pages than in a dozen similar books. Although if you want less in the way of scholarly discussion I recommend Steve Chinn's Sum Hope 3, which offers much in the way of solutions at a fraction of the price.

The scholarly references are solid enough for quoting in dissertations, assignments, etc, but never confound or confuse. The line between scholarly, readable text and incomprehensibility for the general public is incredibly thin but Steve Chinn is a master at it.

This is already the standard text in the subject and deserves to be. Thanks, Prof.

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