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 Post subject: Disheartening mock.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:52 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 12:47 pm
Posts: 698
Location: Essex
Just gave DD her first full mock. While not a complete disaster, I was a little disappointed. Weighted overall percentage was 63%. She seems to have ignored all the advice I've given her. She left 18 VR questions unanswered and did the logic questions in the order they arose instead of leaving them to the end. She used the Maths techniques she's learned at school instead of the faster, more accurate ones she's learned at home. The number of Maths questions she didn't do any working out for just defies belief. With the English, there was a bit of not reading the question but mainly the marks were lost in the vocabulary section. I would have expected her to get 10-15% more.

So. Going forward - we need to work on timing in VR and embrace guessing the last ones as a strategy :lol: . She also needs to ignore the example questions. Some work is needed on vocabulary but not an onerous amount because the exam format changed since that particular past paper. Reading the question and using the techniques previously mentioned seems to be the real sticking point. That and a bit of laziness in the tendency to give a rough guess rather than work the question out.

I know it's early for a full mock. She is still only nine and it was the first time she used the correct format of papers instead of Bond and under strictly timed conditions. I am annoyed at the marks she simply shouldn't have lost rather than desperate at her performance. I am still hopeful she might be in with a chance. Am I kidding myself or is there enough time to make up the marks? I should add that her scores were similar across all papers.


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 Post subject: Re: Disheartening mock.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:00 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11955
Quote:
She used the Maths techniques she's learned at school instead of the faster, more accurate ones she's learned at home.


As a Maths teacher, may I ask what maths techniques you are teaching that are 'more accurate'?

You are probably confusing her by using different methods.


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 Post subject: Re: Disheartening mock.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:43 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 12:47 pm
Posts: 698
Location: Essex
She's not confused. She simply chose the longer, less accurate (in practice) methods. I know they are used in an attempt to promote understanding and am happy for her to use them in school. The work done at home is, after all, done in addition to and not instead of school work.

The Essex 11+ requires a lot to be done in the time given and so faster methods are necessary. As an example, a simple three digit by two digit multiplication was left out until the end because of the amount of time it would have taken to draw a grid! A grid which would, in her mind, have to be drawn neatly with a ruler! Going over the paper with her, I asked her to use the traditional method. She did it in about ten seconds and got it right. I took the same approach with DS before his 11+. His class teacher told him to forget about gridding and chunking in class as well as at home because he preferred to receive correct and completed work. Perhaps he shouldn't have done that. In any event, I don't think it is necessarily confusing to have a choice of methods. By the time they are in year six, I would imagine all children are equipped with a number of methods of tackling various questions.


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 Post subject: Re: Disheartening mock.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:54 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
Posts: 3818
Location: Chelmsford and pleased
It is still very early for a full mock. Three months before the exam most children are still performing significantly below their final level. I wouldn't worry at all about this mark, which given the date, seems more than reasonable. I would recommend leaving whole tests at the required standard until June half term. From then on, the school work is much lighter and you can hammer three papers per week until September.

As for methods, a bright child will cope adequately with a variety of approaches. This is, after all, one of the joys of maths - no right way.

I teach a variety of methods all the way through to GCSE/A level; many of my pupils love the grid method when multiplying algebra, others find it a tedious waste of time. Each to their own.


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 Post subject: Re: Disheartening mock.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:59 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
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Grid method is not a 'less accurate' method - I use it to teach a lot of GCSE and A level algebra - it's much easier to spot an error.
It promotes understanding and is just as quick when practised and yes, I have tested out the speed of completion!


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 Post subject: Re: Disheartening mock.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:19 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 12:47 pm
Posts: 698
Location: Essex
Yes, I did jump the gun a bit! She was pestering me to try a mock. Partly because she remembers her brother doing the same and partly because she wanted to try a "real" VR paper. She's not been discouraged by it and I don't think it will do any harm. I have more time to prepare with her than I did with my DS and so the pace is fairly gentle in comparison. Thanks for your advice, moved. I'll revisit mocks much later. It's thrown up lots to work on but also highlighted some secure areas.


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 Post subject: Re: Disheartening mock.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:34 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 12:47 pm
Posts: 698
Location: Essex
Guest55 wrote:
Grid method is not a 'less accurate' method - I use it to teach a lot of GCSE and A level algebra - it's much easier to spot an error.
It promotes understanding and is just as quick when practised and yes, I have tested out the speed of completion!


Guest55, I have no drum to bang here. I am not passionate about any particular method. The grid method may well be wonderful when used in GCSE and A level algebra. I'm not disputing that. My DD is not preparing for GCSE or A level Maths. She is preparing for the Essex eleven plus. For my children, gridding has proven to be less accurate and more time consuming. You'll notice that my "less accurate" comment was qualified with "in practice". I would prefer that my DD finishes her Maths paper and gets as many marks as possible. That's all.


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 Post subject: Re: Disheartening mock.
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:12 pm 
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When all my children took 11 plus, two in grammars, one waiting to hear, we told the teachers they were doing and as such may do things slightly differently. We told our children that in school they must do that way, but out of school must do faster ways. None of them were confused at all and if anything the teacher let them do faster methods in school if they liked. However we took lead from teachers for in school and us out f school . We also found that the vr techniques especially the coding questions were taught in a very long winded way in school and as children got into year 5 moving into year 6, a lot were not able to finish the papers. I would go with whatever your child is more confident with at the moment though.


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 Post subject: Re: Disheartening mock.
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:19 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 6966
Location: East Kent
I can see that one method may be quicker than another, but still cannot see how it can be 'less accurate'


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 Post subject: Re: Disheartening mock.
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:23 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
Posts: 3818
Location: Chelmsford and pleased
Nor me. I think that the accuracy question may be in the number of steps. With the algorithm there is the zero to forget, the carries that get left behind, etc. With the grid method there are also the carries and then there are more numbers to add at the end. Both methods seem to have room for error, if you ask me.


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