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 Post subject: Year 4 Maths help
PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:06 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:54 pm
Posts: 15
Hello, I have only just registered on this site but I have been reading through posts now and again for sometime.

The reason for my post is related to my son's maths. Basically my son has just gone into year 4, all through his school life he has always been considered very bright and never really struggled at school. My son is very shy and usually gets told he needs to work on his confidence but academically has always done very well.

Anyway I had parents evening this week and the teacher has advised that she feels he is struggling in Maths. She advised he is very good at times tables and shape and measurements but his basic number skills are letting him down. The teacher advised to work on number bonds!

Can anyone give me any advice of sites to use or books to get. I was actually quite shocked to hear this as the end of last year in Year 3 he had improved and was the top of the group. We haven't done a lot of work at home other than homework but I think we now need to put some extra work in to help him out.

Any advice would be appreciated.
Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Year 4 Maths help
PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:15 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11949
Quote:
She advised he is very good at times tables and shape and measurements but his basic number skills are letting him down. The teacher advised to work on number bonds!


That sounds confusing! Number bonds are the basis for tables ... can you ask her to be specific ie give you examples of what he is struggling with?

I'd look at the games on http://resources.woodlands-junior.kent. ... index.html as a starting point.

What level was he at the end of Year 3?


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 Post subject: Re: Year 4 Maths help
PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:28 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:54 pm
Posts: 15
Thanks for your reply - I was was surprised too, as that is what I thought. I did ask but she didn't give me any real examples - I think I will go and have another chat.

I'm not actually sure what level he was at the end of year 3 - we are not told, only told at the end of year 2 - at the end of year 2 he was a level 3. As he is my eldest I am only just starting to understand the levels!
What level should they be by the end of year 3?

Previously all his reports have stated he is exceeding the expected level in all core subjects.

Thanks for the link I will take a look at that.


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 Post subject: Re: Year 4 Maths help
PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 7:46 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2014 2:40 pm
Posts: 5
I agree with Guest55 with the fact that number bonds are the basis for timetables and etc. The opinion from school is rather confusing that your son is a bit behind on number bonds, yet his timetables are good. Better seek further examples on this.

In any case, we do need to get children to do more practice apart from the homework assigned to them as practice makes perfect.
they will get better eventually. don't worry.


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 Post subject: Re: Year 4 Maths help
PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 12:41 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:59 pm
Posts: 2826
Possibly the teacher means that he is good at the times tables because they are things that he has learned by rote, rather than having a full understanding of what they actually mean (that would explain why she feels he needs to look at his basic number bonds)?

Obviously for longer term problem solving the underlying understanding is as important as the quick recall. The good news is that at least you can now start to work with the school in addressing the issues - but certainly it needs to start with a meeting with the teacher where she gives you specific issues that he has (with examples) and advice as to how best to tackle it - then ask what the school will be doing too and arrange another meeting where you can assess progress - don't wait until the next parent's evening - it is not great that the teacher didn't tell you there was a problem before parent's evening, to be honest - parent's evenings are not the time for unpleasant surprises, in my opinion. good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Year 4 Maths help
PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 2:56 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
Posts: 8228
Get more info on the work she did to reach this conclusion.

Then do some work on "number bonds" if you think it is merited.

Try buying the book Power of 2 and work through that. Iit will improve his mental addition and subtraction if that is what is needed.

Both my children have at sme point been better at recalling multiplication and division facts than addition and subtraction facts. This is because we are told to learn timestables at home, so we do, but they never tell us to learn addition and subtraction facts, nor test them at speed.

Try some free apps and Oswego website if he is slow at addition and subtraction facts. More speed can never harm.


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 Post subject: Re: Year 4 Maths help
PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:41 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 6966
Location: East Kent
Sheppard software site has some excellent games.
Also mad4maths and woodland junior school.


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 Post subject: Re: Year 4 Maths help
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 6:02 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:54 pm
Posts: 15
Thank you for your responses.

I have been back and spoken to the teacher and got a bit more info which seems to make sense!

Basically it sounds like if he is given a calculation to work out whether it is addition, multiplication etc he is fine, but if he is given a word problem he sometimes get confused of what calculation he needs to do! So it is a case of helping understand what the questions are asking him.

I am trying to ask mathematical questions during general things in life - to see if that helps - like 'what fraction of the pizza has been eaten' etc.

I'd bought some of the bond books - the 10 min questions. He's been doing one a day and so far he's doing really well, but I'm not sure what sort of level these are - it says 9-10 years and he turned 9 last week so I presume that's the right level. Does anyone know if these books are a good indication of how he is doing?

I will have a look at the other suggestions of material & sites to look at.

Thanks again, I am definitely less worried about it now but I think it has helped as I feel like there are things I can do at home.


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 Post subject: Re: Year 4 Maths help
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 6:07 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11949
That makes more sense - so it's interpreting word problems that he struggles with.

Get him to make some up for you. For example: 'A packet of crisps costs 40p. How many can I buy for £3'.

There is a lot of free stuff online too e.g. old KS2 test papers.


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 Post subject: Re: Year 4 Maths help
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 6:13 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:54 pm
Posts: 15
Yes that's it Guest55 - interpreting the questions. Good idea regarding papers - do you know where to get them from - WHSmiths?? Sorry I'm clueless - I bought the Bond Books in WHSmiths but I didn't see sats papers, but then again I wasn't looking!

Thanks again for your help!


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