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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 4:05 pm 
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DS has been storming the elevenplusexams University of Buckingham Press comprehension book practice papers, presumably because it's multiple choice.

However, he is now working through Bond Fourth Papers Comprehension and his marks are plummeting (down to 60% :( ). He is writing his interpretation of answers and getting cobby when I point out that it isn't actually what it says. An example being in the text on starving birds "Birds only need feeding in winter. Do you agree?" He rambled on about the fat pigeons on bird tables guzzling the food and there not being enough for the rest (which is what happens on ours) and it niggles him.

Does anyone else's dc's this? He's got ADHD so this may well have something to do with it I guess.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 5:08 pm 
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I assume the questions are very clearly prefaced by 'Referring to the text', or something similar? (Sorry, we did buy one or two Bond books but none of the children got very much use out of them).If not, then the question just begs the perfectly reasonable answer that you DS has given, frustrating as it may be.

You could try pushing the line that the only reason that the questions are there is for him to find the statements / opinions of the writer of the piece, unless the magic words 'in your own words' appear, of course.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 6:04 pm 
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Son number two did this and also got a cob on when corrected and he is deffo not ad anything. He does love creative writing though and took my criticism very personally. Like toad mum says, you just have to reign them in, tell them the usual one mark for one point rules, only use the authors ideas unless asked and keep it simple, referring to the text for evidence. Eventually it sinks in.

He is right about greedy fat pigeons though. :lol:


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 7:35 pm 
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This is a common problem. Comprehension means understanding what is in the passage and only that. If it is not in the passage then you do not know it. Not reading what it actually says is also a real problem. Keep at it. They go get better. DG


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 5:21 am 
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It doesn't help that they seem to be taught to go off into flights of fancy and some comprehensions do encourage that. According to one of my children's school reports, to improve on a 4c for reading she needs to predict what happens next. Is this preparation for understanding the text better or a successful g a m b l I n g career?

"birds only need feeding in the winter. Do you agree?" It is clearly inviting his opinion and the mark scheme is wrong if it forbids that answer. So if he is going to sit a comprehension exam which does not wander off the text, maybe it would be best to avoid these rubbish kinds of question. Written comprehensions these days seem to be full of them, I agree. It must be child-centred learning having crept in!


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 5:57 am 
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Do you agree is clearly an opinion question. This is why I don't use Bond at all. Opinion questions should be about characters where all the information has to come from the text and cannot come from general knowledge. Is there some reason you are using Bond when there are so many better resources out there? Predicting what happens next is an important skill. The North London state selectives and indy's mostly use the "continue the story" option for creative writing so students have to be able to move the comprehension forwards. Many students fall at this post as they either seem unable to understand the passage sufficiently to be able to do this or simply do not read the instructions properly. I remain in despair over this. What is so hard about invent a rabbit character, give it a name and imagine the journey and arrival at the warren to meet friends? 90% of the ten year olds I work with seem unable to read these simple words and do what it says. The bottom line is they don't pay enough attention to what it says and so lose the places to those who do. Apparently the most marks lost in GCSE exams are by those who do not read the questions properly. So it is hardly surprising that 11 plus exams are designed to identify those who do. Those are the students the schools want! Those who read instructions and follow them! Why is this such a problem to so many of them? DG


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 9:03 am 
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Thanks everyone for such good ideas and thought-provoking opinions.

I've looked again at the questions and they are along the lines of:

How can birds be helpful to gardeners? Support your answer with a least three pieces of evidence of text.
He did this fine.

"Explain in your own words why water is more likely to freeze in a pan than in a half a cocoa-nut".
He rambled on about the pan being shallower and wider so would freeze more quickly than something with a larger depth of water.
The answer, which was in the text was because the cocoa-nut is suspended from a tree it blows about in the wind and this keeps it from freezing.
I can see where he's coming from but it's not in the text!!!

The question in the original post was "Birds only need feeding in the winter. How far do you agree with this statement? Refer to the text in your answer.
It quite clearly asks him to refer to text, but he didn't.

So all in all, we need to work on his dealing solely with what he can find in the text - his mind just doesn't work this way so it may be a problem as he overthinks everything.

I've just picked Bond as it seems to be referred to often on here. I was running out of interesting stuff for him to do so thought it may be interesting. Not wed to it but if there is anything else that anyone can recommend, that would be good. Is elevenplusexams first past the post comprehension book 1 too easy or about right? He's on test 4 and hasn't got one wrong yet - the multiple choice is definitely up his street.

I'm actually finding this whole 11+ business quite good as I've found a fair few weaknesses that I thought hadn't been there (certainly school haven't mentioned them) so even if he doesn't pass, it will have been good experience for him anyway.

Cheers


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 6:06 am 
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You're right, you'll find absolutely everything in a text if you're looking carefully. My son did the same and still does it sometimes when he thinks he knows better. I had to explain him over and over again, this is a comprehension test, not a knowledge one. You should stick to the passage whether it's right or wrong.
I hope he got it now.

I started with Bonds, at the warm up stage, I found FPTP, CGP, Athey and MW useful too. The more the better I guess.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 8:27 am 
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Perhaps it' a boy thing :D . I could do with a passage with incorrect detail just to fox him. Maybe not though, he'd just correct it. I swear he'd rather fail than be wrong. Just wondering what MW is as I haven't come across that before. Also, I hadn't heard of Athey so will look into that.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 8:43 am 
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Daogroupie wrote Athey here once, then one of my friends said her son's tutor recommended it too.
The first he found easy, but after that the texts became harder. It's standard form, but half is multiple choice.


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