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 Post subject: More maths angst!
PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:09 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2010 12:57 pm
Posts: 1446
Something is not quite right with DS2's brain! :roll:

He's currently working through a book called Learning Together Maths for 11 and 12+ tests, although I think it's more for 11+. It's split into: Algebra and Numbers, Measurements, Handling Date and Shape and Space. He's doing it so I can find out what he knows and what he doesn't know before I start him on a programme.

Anyway, he frequently gets an answer right in his head but has no idea how he got it. I ask him to write down the working and he can't, or he will start to write down the working, get confused and then not know how to finish it. The moment he has to think too much, it all goes pear-shaped. But he needs to show working as his mental maths is not good enough and he often makes silly mistakes.

Are there any sites that show precise, clear and simple examples/instructions on how to show working so that when he gets half way through a process he doesn't forget what he's doing and his mind doesn't go blank?! :?


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 Post subject: Re: More maths angst!
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 8:01 am 
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Get him to talk to you as he does it - that's the first step.

It's not unusual, particuLarly for boys, to do things in their heads and then not be able to write it down - it can be a constant 'fight' with the very able. [This is one of the reasons I'm against level 6 paper as many of those pupils would really benefit from practising their explanations]

The trouble with 'finding you a site' is that view on methods are varied and exam boards accept a variety of acceptable explanations. One way I 'encourage' these pupils to write it down is to say it's got to make sense to someone who doesn't know (like I do :lol:) how brilliant they are; it's got to show what they've done. Another thing I've done is give answers no marks UNLESS there is a method; for competitive pupils eventually it works!

A good KS3 textbook would be better and cheaper! Make sure it's up-to-date though.


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 Post subject: Re: More maths angst!
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 12:39 pm 
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Have you seen Kahnacademy.org? It has videos on how to do every kind and every level of maths. I've found it very useful on many occasions recently (year 3 DS ...) :oops:

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 Post subject: Re: More maths angst!
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 3:31 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2010 12:57 pm
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I have browsed its briefly but never for maths. Whatever method I'll need to understand it as I'll be explaining it to him! :oops:


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 Post subject: Re: More maths angst!
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 5:19 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
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Location: East Kent
definitely get him to talk his way through it with you, It helps get things sorted and clarified.

right up there in current educational thinking and, unlike many other 'initiatives', a very good idea!


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 Post subject: Re: More maths angst!
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:26 pm 
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Now I'm really confused. As you know DS struggles with maths. We've been doing VR papers where a formula has to be found and most are in two stages: 5n +n/2 etc. I thought this was a mammoth task but it seems he is really getting it and in the last forty questions, he's got them all right.

But he can't seem to lower a fraction or ratio, which in my mind is basic - what's going on! :?


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 Post subject: Re: More maths angst!
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:32 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
Play with maths. Fraction "families", etc. 1/2 = 2/4 =3/6. You can do this with all the common fractions, then convert to decimals and percentages. If he likes algebra, then put some hidden cancelling in the algebraic sums he is doing. Write problems for him that need equivalent numbers. Basically, have fun with the numbers and don't make it hard.


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 Post subject: Re: More maths angst!
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 7:52 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
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Location: East Kent
have you tried googling fractions /ratio etc as games?
Woodlands and BBC are good starts.

I find simplifying and equivalent fractions need concrete examples, cutting things up, dividing groups etc.

the line between the numerator and denominator means divide, I find this seems to help children get their head round it when you explain.

Ratio is explained well by sizing recipes up or down.


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 Post subject: Re: More maths angst!
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:42 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:26 am
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fatbananas wrote:
Have you seen Kahnacademy.org? It has videos on how to do every kind and every level of maths. I've found it very useful on many occasions recently (year 3 DS ...) :oops:


Wow thanks for that, proper answers to the questions rather than my convoluted explanations!

http://www.khanacademy.org/


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 Post subject: Re: More maths angst!
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:59 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2010 12:57 pm
Posts: 1446
yoyo123 wrote:
have you tried googling fractions /ratio etc as games?
Woodlands and BBC are good starts.

I find simplifying and equivalent fractions need concrete examples, cutting things up, dividing groups etc.

the line between the numerator and denominator means divide, I find this seems to help children get their head round it when you explain.

Ratio is explained well by sizing recipes up or down.


The biggest problem I have with my son is to get the right balance. Part of me wants to go right back to basics so he can have a solid foundation but he is very bright and he'll think I'm patronising him and he'll switch off. Maybe that's why gaps arose in the first place as he was far ahead when he was younger so just switched off and stopped listening. Then it got complicated and he still wasn't listening. :? I was thinking about cutting things up but was worried he'd find it too babyish. The other thing I noticed is that his most successful period of learning was with Montessori but it tends to ony go up to Year 6.


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