About Ronit Bird
Ronit Bird is the author of The Dyscalculia Toolkit (2007, 2013 and 2017), Overcoming Difficulties with Number (2009), and The Dyscalculia Resource Book (2011 and 2017). The Dyscalculia Toolkit is a practical manual of teaching activities and games aimed at teachers and parents of dyscalculic pupils in primary school. Overcoming Difficulties with Number addresses the problems experienced by slightly older learners who have dyscalculia or other specific learning difficulties by providing a chapter of games and resources suitable for adolescents while devoting the rest of the book to a series of very detailed, carefully structured, step-by-step teaching ideas for key numeracy strategies. The Dyscalculia Resource Book contains 120 games and puzzles for a wide age range, designed to support learners with dyscalculia who find it difficult to memorise numeracy facts and who therefore need to learn and practise reasoning methods. Earlier editions of the print books include a CD from which to print off the resources, games and puzzles for use at school or at home; the 2017 editions provide links to a Companion Website that allows easy access to all the relevant resources as well as to all the videos that were specially created to accompany the book.
The underlying teaching approach in all Ronit Bird’s work is to provide the necessary concrete and practical experience in an enjoyable manner – through games and activities, not worksheets – while at the same time helping learners through the important transition between concrete and abstract calculation techniques. All Ronit’s books are designed to help pupils strengthen their understanding of the number system and to develop the expertise of anyone working directly with dyscalculic learners, be they teachers, tutors, teaching assistants or parents.
Ronit’s recent work includes the production of short demonstration videos to guide parents who want to help their own children develop a better feel for numbers. The videos are at the heart of her series of ebooks published via iBooks for the iPad (or other Apple computers). The first ebook in the series, Exploring Numbers Through Dot Patterns (2013), presents ideas and teaching games designed to focus on the numbers up to 10. It contains more than 100 pages of text and illustrations plus more than 100 minutes of video. The second ebook in the series, Exploring Numbers Through Cuisenaire Rods (2013), because of the nature of Cuisenaire rods, is able to go much further in terms of larger numbers and more complex strategies. This ebook contains well over 100 pages of illustrated text plus 2 hours of video. The third ebook in the same series, Understanding Times Tables (2014), contains 65 pages of illustrated text plus 75 minutes of video. The most recent ebook in the same series, Understanding Fractions (2018), contains 90 pages of illustrated text plus 67 minutes of video.
Two further iPad books each contain 10 teaching games: Card Games for Addition & Subtraction (2015) and Dice & Domino Games (2015). These Maths Games ebooks are free.
Ronit is a teacher whose interest in pupils with dyscalculia and other specific learning difficulties began with a focus on dyslexia. She qualified as a secondary school teacher at London University’s Institute of Education and subsequently gained an OCR Diploma in SpLD from the Hornsby Dyslexia Institute. 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 worked as a SENCO for many years, in both the independent and state sectors. Between 2006 and 2009, Ronit was involved in the Harrow Dyscalculia Project during which time she contributed to training courses for maths subject leaders, teachers and teaching assistants and made regular visits to the participating schools in order to support and advise those working closely with dyscalculic pupils or other learners struggling with numeracy and maths.
Ronit continues to work as a teacher of dyscalculic pupils and as a freelance presenter of professional development courses on dyscalculia.