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 Post subject: Maths panics
PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2016 10:36 am 
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Joined: Wed May 07, 2014 7:23 pm
Posts: 167
My DD, who is due to take THE exam in September is reasonably capable in maths. Faced, however, with lengthy word problems in several parts as she is now when doing practice tests I think she just panics, particularly when it's timed. It's frustrating knowing that she has (we believe) the intrinsic ability to pass the 11+ but think there's a good chance she won't because she still finds it daunting. She is an August baby so may not be as mature as she'd like to think. DS is heading into yr 8 at Tommies so I do have a realistic idea of the level needed for the CEM test. DS was in the Guinea-pig year when CEM was introduced to Gloucestershire.

I am going to try the CGP 10 minute test book with DD in the hope she will see each section as a separate challenge. I wondered if anyone out there has other ideas for helping her overcome her fears.

I know some will probably think that part of being at a grammar school is not being phased by tests but I'm still convinced she could cope in a GS environment if she makes it to one.


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 Post subject: Re: Maths panics
PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2016 10:48 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2010 9:45 pm
Posts: 1488
If you haven't tried it yet, it may help to sit down with your DD when doing those multi-part word problems and let her talk you through how she does it, i.e. let her teach you do those word problems. Hopefully, this will highlight whatever weaknesses there may be so you will know how to help her further. If there are not weaknesses but just lack of confidence, it should help her feel reassured if she is able to explain those problems to you.

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 Post subject: Re: Maths panics
PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2016 12:17 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:06 pm
Posts: 434
We were in a similar position to you last year (and the year before). My daughter is August born and struggled with the wordy maths problems.

She found it easier to underline the important parts of the question. Also to be really clear about what the question was asking before starting the maths. She also would have a sensible guess so she wasn't miles out. We talked through a lot without doing the actual maths and that really helped.

She made a lot of progress over the summer, little and often. In the end she felt the exam wasn't as difficult as the work we'd done at home and had a choice if girls' grammars in the end. Good luck.


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 Post subject: Re: Maths panics
PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2016 12:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11949
As well as the above I often suggest children make up their own problems.

Start with something simple like: 'An icecream costs £1.50'.

Now what question can be made? For example, 'How much do 5 icrecreams cost?' 'How many icecreams can I buy with £6 or even £8 [to get the idea of rounding down]. Then move to giving change etc

Then add another fact 'and choc ices cost £1' and repeat.

Making up their own problems helps children see how to 'undo' them.


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 Post subject: Re: Maths panics
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 10:26 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 07, 2014 7:23 pm
Posts: 167
Thank you ladies.
I tried your trick, Guest55, in the car and we made up our own sums. It went down well.

My husband's doing a bit of breaking down and talking through problems with DD and he seems to feel it's helping. DH says sometimes she lacks the confidence to give the answer even if she's right.

Redvelvet, I think we might try highlighting important parts and estimating the answer.

You've given me some ides which I think we will look to expand on over the holiday.

Is six weeks enough? Who knows? For us it very much depends on the actual questions :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Maths panics
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 8:52 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 10:28 am
Posts: 1773
So frustrating I know. I'd agree with what everyone else is saying. I would also recommend two websites for vocabulary practice: Freerice and Synonym Toast (which the can play on the phone in the car/bus). The latter is addictive but the music will drive you mad. We figured that a strong and wide vocabulary was the basis of so much of the English work, so we concentrated on that.

Apart from that, we swore by the mock exams, so perhaps try one of those or see if anyone you know is doing an informal one. He didn't do brilliantly in them but we all kept calm. It highlighted some real problems that we were able to work on and it also made him quite blasé when The Big Day came.

Mine too is an August baby, but at least they do get a bit of "help" with standardisation to level the playing field, so I wouldn't worry about that. Good luck - we all feel your pain!


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 Post subject: Re: Maths panics
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 9:11 am 
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Joined: Wed May 07, 2014 7:23 pm
Posts: 167
Thanks Stressed. We used to use free rice but recently we've forgotten about it. Must try it again. My DD has good ideas in English but hates reading so her vocabulary is not great and her spelling particularly shocking, a bit too phonetic for this stage. I will look at the other website. Ah well, we shall see.

On a separate note, I cannot believe how quickly year 7 has gone. What a fab school. Sooo impressed. Mr Morgan, you're a star. Am very confused though as to why the staffroom has a sign in Gujrati (Indian language) but in English it only says common room...hmmm


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