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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 2:09 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:55 pm
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My daughter is busy preparing for this " trial by fire " and is doing well with her basic +-X/, being able to answer any sum given, using what I call the traditional methods - long division / long multiplication etc.

The "teacher ?" is now insisting that she learns other methods of doing the same question incase the 11+exam requires them to use a different method.

All my research on question types shows that the papers do not specify a particular method to use to answer a question, the papers are marked by computer and all it wants is a correct answer, it does not care what method is used to get it.

I feel angry and my daughter - and the rest of her class - are wasting time learning alternative methods for something they already know how to do....or have I got this all wrong ?


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 2:33 pm 
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Location: East Kent
welcome to the forum.

As far as I know the method is not important for 11+ especially with multiple choice have to papers where they have to mark correct answer on an answer sheet. WHat area are you in? do you know if the papers are standard or multiple choice?

Children do have to show workings for some Sats questions and state schools do not do prep for 11+ in schools.

These days children are taught division by "chunking" - repeated subtraction and the grid method for multiplication. The 2 methods are much nearer to how we would work out a problem mentally and although they seem awkward to those of us who were taught long div and multiplication they are actually good at making sense of what the process entails.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 8:58 pm 
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Thanks for the reply. We are also in Kent and as far as I am aware, it will be a mulitple choice paper making the learning of alternative methods even more meaningless.

I just fail to understand why they are risking confusing a child by forcefeeding alternative methods of doing the same thing. That is asking for trouble in a stressful exam situation.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:38 am 
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The teacher is obviously mis-informed about the 11+. If your DD is happy and confident using traditional methods, I shouldn't worry. Getting the correct answer is what she is aiming at. In Kent, all the answers are multiple choice.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:51 pm 
The Kent 11+ doesn't require children to learn more than one method; the national curriculum/ national maths strategy (or whatever it's now called) does. State primaries therefore have their hands tied on this one. Or so I have been told.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:42 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:55 pm
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I spoke to the teacher yesterday at a parents evening and she stated that they are required by the Education Department - or whoever it is that dictates from on high - to teach both methods, her hands are thus tied.

I took this up with the Head teacher and he added further insult to injury by confirming that the school is not allowed to help the children prepare for the 11+ in any way, shape or form. No past papers, no practising question types, exam formats.....NOTHING. He very helpfully suggested we visit WH Smiths and purchase a range of study books as there was nothing preventing us helping our daughter, which I thought was very nice of him !

To me, this whole process is grossly unfair. According to the Head teacher, all children – regardless of ability - have the option to take the exam ( it costs the child’s parents nothing so they have nothing to lose by trying, apart from a potentially devastated child having to deal with failure ) and yet, not every child is having the help and support of their parents to assist in the preparation, how many parents are totally unaware that it is fast approaching ? Parents also have to try and establish their child’s strengths and weaknesses, what subjects they have and have not covered whilst having to contend with their being force fed utterly irrelevant subject matter at the behest of the state.......and the school does nothing to help – yes, I am most annoyed.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:36 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 1:34 pm
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My children are taught some bizarre methods to do multiplication, few of which i can see any merit in (i say this as someone with an A-level in Further maths) including something called the Arab square that just seems like a very long winded way to do a standard long multiplication.

Luckily my 11yo son is gifted in maths so he just ignores the school methods does it the normal way then backwards works it into the taught method to check his answer. He has also been helping his 9yo sister as he is able to explain the current methods better than ever i could.

He actually got marked down at school for doing standard long division even though he got the answer correct


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 1:08 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
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Crazy. One day I think we should all set up sticky on this website with a list of names of all the crazy teachers there are and the reasons why.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:18 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:54 am
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Oh! How i agree with all of you, getting the answer right is the most important in maths the method does not matter. This thread reminds me how i fell out with a parent in my DS's school last year arguing the whole way that it does not matter what method u apply all u need is to get the answer, that's all is important in Maths! She just would not agree!


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