eBooks on Numeracy 

To access the eBooks using the links below, registered teachers must be logged in to the Teaching Council's online library. 

Login here using your Teaching Council Registration Number. Once logged in, select Online Library.

*The Teaching Council provides registered teachers with free access to an online library in order to enhance their access to educational research, thereby supporting their professional learning. The Teaching Council does not accept responsibility for the accuracy or integrity of journals, articles, eBooks, citations, and related webpages or material accessed via these resources. The inclusion of these resources does not imply Teaching Council endorsement of any products, services, views or information described or offered in any such articles, eBooks, citations, and related webpages etc.


100 Ideas for Primary Teachers: Numeracy Difficulties and Dyscalculia

(P. Babtie; 2017)

100 Ideas for Primary Teachers: Numeracy Difficulties and Dyscalculia provides specially designed games and activities to help build firm foundations in basic number concepts. All the ideas have been tried-and-tested in specialist and mainstream schools and are designed to encourage children to talk about numbers in a natural way using everyday contexts. The book begins with a focus on counting skills, before moving on to place value structure, multiplication, and division. As well as teaching key facts, the ideas in this book will develop pupils' understanding so that they become flexible thinkers who can use numbers to solve a variety of mathematical problems. The ideas require minimum preparation and resources and are perfect for use in mainstream and specialist classrooms, individual tuition sessions or as homework assignments.


100 Ideas for Secondary Teachers: Supporting Students with Numeracy Difficulties

(P. Babtie and S. Dillon; 2019)

In this book, Patricia Babtie and Sue Dillon present 100 ideas to help students with numeracy difficulties grasp core skills, not just in Maths but in other subjects including Science, Design and Communications Graphics, Technology, Computer Science, and Geography. According to the authors, around 25 per cent of Post-primary students have severe numeracy difficulties. These students are often anxious and fearful about using maths arising from a repeated failure to learn. This impacts their overall attainment. Patricia and Sue show how numeracy difficulties can be overcome using multi-sensory teaching and helping students with their study skills, revision, and exam techniques. This dip-in-and-out book provides activities and games to encourage students to explore numerical ideas and discover underlying patterns across the Post-primary curriculum. These ideas help to develop an understanding of maths concepts and see their relevance in everyday life. 100 Ideas for Secondary Teachers: Supporting Students with Numeracy Difficulties contains adaptable ideas that are relevant across the curriculum. It will help build confidence in learners, making it a must-have resource for all schools.


The Trouble with Maths: A Practical Guide to Helping Learners with Numeracy Difficulties

(Stephen Chinn; 2012)

Now in a second edition, the award-winning The Trouble with Maths offers important insights into the often-confusing world of numeracy. By looking at learning difficulties in Maths from several perspectives, including the language of mathematics, thinking styles, and the demands of individual topics, this book offers a complete overview of the most common problems associated with Maths teaching and learning. It draws on tried-and-tested methods based on research and the author's classroom experience to provide an authoritative yet highly accessible one-stop classroom resource.

Combining advice, guidance, and practical activities, this user-friendly guide will enable teachers to:

  • develop flexible thinking skills
  • use alternative strategies for pupils to access basic facts 
  • understand the implications of pre-requisite skills, such as working memory, on learning
  • implement effective preventative measures before disaffection sets in
  • recognise Maths anxiety and tackle self-esteem problems
  • tackle the difficulties with word problems that many pupils may have
  • select appropriate materials to enhance understanding.               

With useful features such as checklists for the evaluation of books, an outline for setting up an inclusive Maths Department policy and a brand-new chapter on materials, manipulatives, and communication, this book will equip teachers with the essential skills to tackle pupils' Maths difficulties and improve standards. This book will be useful for all teachers, SNAs, SETs, and parents who have pupils who underachieve with Maths.


Numeracy and Learning Difficulties: Approaches to Teaching and Assessment

(Peter Westwood; 2004)

By understanding why children struggle with maths, teachers are better equipped to provide effective support and nurture confidence in low-achievers. Numeracy and Learning Difficulties includes guidance on:

  • how to tackle common learning difficulties by following different teaching practices and principles,
  • identifying gaps in students' knowledge and developing curricula that bridges these gaps,
  • improving numerical literacy using problem-solving strategies and skills,
  • and also includes a handy checklist of benchmarks in achievement.

Math Is Everywhere: 365 Ways You and Your Child Can Apply Math in the Real World

(Gene Pease; 2017)

Math is Everywhere is a book for anyone who wants to answer the question, “When am I ever going to use this Maths?” and helps to bring numeracy out of the classroom and into the everyday lives of the pupils. The book contains 365 maths and numeracy activities teachers can share with pupils, using real world context  such as listening to music, watching insects, or riding a bike. Teachers will find ideas to support the whole class and pupils can even find out how to make slime or a real dirt cake that they can eat! There is no requirement to purchase resources, unless it's the groceries the pupils and their families will use to make dinner. A fun and innovative book to inspire numeracy and enhance understanding at any time or place.


What Teachers Need to Know About Numeracy

(Peter S. Westwood; 2008)

Developments over the past two decades have seen a move toward less emphasis in schools on routine arithmetic teaching and more on application of number skills to problem solving. This change of emphasis is in response to recommendations for reform in the teaching of mathematics. We have reached a stage now when it is important to consider whether the changes in emphasis are proving effective. Have students gained a better understanding of mathematics than before; and do they have more positive feelings about the subject? Or have we moved too far away from teaching and practising computational skills so that now it is more difficult, rather than easier, for students to engage in problem solving and investigation? What degree of balance is needed between formal skills instruction and investigative approaches using those skills? This book explores some of the issues that are emerging in the domain numeracy teaching. The author has drawn on relevant literature from several different countries, notably the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Asia to provide a comprehensive overview. The issues range from those concerning children in the preschool and early school years through to those affecting adults with poor numeracy skills.


33 Ways to Help with Numeracy: Supporting Children Who Struggle with Basic Skills

(Brian Sharp; 2009)

Thirty-Three Ways to Help with Numeracy equips teachers with a wide range of practical resources to help children who are having difficulties learning the basic skills of numeracy. By providing a range of activities and games which engage children and encourage motivation in the classroom, the book provides ready-to-use exercises that don't need lengthy forward preparation. Any materials needed are readily available in the classroom or are provided here to photocopy. The activities are designed using a range of different learning styles to:

  • build learners' confidence and self-esteem
  • develop reasoning and thinking about physical number situations 
  • encourage discussions
  • explore numbers by doing 

The activities can be used with individual children, groups, or the whole class. The introduction at the head of each activity describes precisely what it aims to teach the child, followed by clear, concise instructions on how to play each game. Teachers, SETs, and SNAs may welcome this helpful numeracy resource.


Numeracy Across the Curriculum: Research-based Strategies for Enhancing Teaching and Learning

(S. Dole and V Geiger; 2019)

Being numerate involves more than mastering basic Maths. Numeracy connects the Maths learned at school with out-of-school situations that require capabilities such as problem solving, critical judgment, and sense-making related to non-mathematical contexts. This book provides prospective and practising teachers with practical, research-based strategies for embedding numeracy across the Primary and Post-primary school curriculum. Based on the authors' ten-year research program, the text explains what numeracy is and how numeracy has developed as an educational goal. It describes in detail the five dimensions of the authors' model:

  • attention to real-life contexts;
  • application of mathematical knowledge;
  • use of physical, representational, and digital tools;
  • the promotion of positive dispositions towards the use of mathematics to solve problems encountered in day-to-day life; and
  • a critical orientation to interpreting mathematical results and making evidence-based judgements.

There is guidance on how to embed numeracy across all subjects within the curriculum, how to assess numeracy learning, and how to deal with challenges and dilemmas including working with discipline boundaries and developing support resources. Featuring practical examples and case studies throughout, this book will build teacher confidence, demystify common misconceptions, and grounds theory into practice in this vital area of student competency.

Articles on Numeracy

To access the articles below, registered teachers must be logged in to the Teaching Council’s online library here.

A step-by-step guide to accessing the online library can be found here.

Harnessing the Potential of ICTs: Literacy and Numeracy Programmes Using Radio, TV, Mobile Phones, Tablets and Computers. 2nd Edition. UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning, Hanemann, U., Scarpino, C., 2017.

This compilation of case studies from all world regions presents promising literacy and numeracy programmes that use information and communication technologies (ICTs) in their access and outreach strategies. The twenty-six case studies illustrate how ICTs such as radio, TV, mobile phones, tablets and computers can be used as media of instruction, can supplement face-to-face teaching, and can help to develop and strengthen youth and adult literacy, language and numeracy skills.

Numeracy into Action: Putting Numeracy Research into Practice, Adult Learner. The Irish Journal of Adult and Community Education, Sellers, D., Byrne, T., 2015.

In 2014 the National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA) published a research report titled What really counts next: action learning project with numeracy tutors (Sellers and Byrne, 2014). The report provided an in-depth insight into the way tutors made changes to their practice and offered practical tips on how to teach numeracy to adult learners in order to support their numeracy development. This article summarises the main findings from the 2014 research report and provides two mini case studies showcasing numeracy work in action.

Improving numeracy outcomes for children through community action research. Educational Action Research. 23(1), 22-35, Bleach, J., 2015.

This paper describes how a community of parents, early childhood care and education practitioners and a third-level institution used action research to develop a three-year numeracy programme for children aged zero to six years. Approximately 860 children (zero to six years old) and their families took part in the Early Numeracy Programme each year, with national and local evaluations indicating that the outcomes for children in the programme had improved. The programme is an example of how a local community can use action research and virtuous practices to implement a national programme and improve outcomes for children.


The following article is not available through the Teaching Council’s online library, but is freely available through open access databases via the link provided:


Diving Deep into Numeracy, Cross Curricular Professional Development. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, Connolly, C., Carr, E. and Knox, S., 2021.

The aim of this study was to design a national teacher professional development programme to encourage teachers at post-primary level to develop numeracy competency across the post-primary curriculum. The project explored how numeracy and mathematics can be integrated meaningfully and constructively in a range of carrier subjects and explore how these subjects can, in turn, influence the manner in which relevant concepts can be addressed in mathematics lessons.

FÉILTE Resources Related to Numeracy 

Live Workshop - Juggling Quadratic Equations and other Maths Applications – Sean McWeeney

This live Workshop shows teachers how to study the Maths involved in juggling and learning how to learn. It continues on to show how Maths and Numeracy can be brought out of the classroom into the outside world. This workshop is ideal for use in Transition Year and is not restricted to the Maths classroom.


Workshop - When Will I Ever Use This? Understanding the Need for Algebra - Arlene Murphy

Algebra through the lens of functions is a resource, that uses growing patterns as an exploration of algebra. This resource provides an introduction to the teaching of algebra and uses patterns to explore functions leading students to make sense of and understand the need for algebra.


StudentMeet Graduate Research - Investigating the learning disability dyscalculia in the post primary classroom within numeracy heavy subjects

The main focus of this study was to investigate dyscalculia and the associated behaviours in the classroom setting. The research embarked on investigating said behaviours that the students who have dyscalculia may display in the classroom setting.

A qualitative method of data collection was chosen in order to provide the most effective and useful strategies in aiding students who may display significant mathematical difficulties or perform below age-appropriate level. It was found that groupwork, pair work and one to one tuition lessons were deemed effective towards helping the dyscalculic student. The researcher also identified the behaviours of students who face difficulty when working with numbers.


*The Teaching Council provides registered teachers with free access to an online library in order to enhance their access to educational research, thereby supporting their professional learning. The Teaching Council does not accept responsibility for the accuracy or integrity of journals, articles, eBooks, citations, and related webpages or material accessed via these resources. The inclusion of these resources does not imply Teaching Council endorsement of any products, services, views or information described or offered in any such articles, eBooks, citations, and related webpages etc.