Go to navigation
It is currently Fri Dec 09, 2016 5:50 am

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 25 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Year 4 maths
PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:34 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2014 6:25 pm
Posts: 275
I would just like some opinions, particularly from more experienced parents or teachers!

My DD is yr 4, my older child has taken the 11+ this year, and my attention has now turned to her! My plan for 'support' & 'building foundations' for 11+ work this year is to check and ensure she is solid with time tables, some extra maths work towards the end of the year and to begin to learn some more vocab through reading & discussion.

She tells me they are learning 6 times tables at the moment in class. When I tested her on these she only knows them in order - any quick fire out of order questions involve her having to count on in sixes (from 1x6). I've worked with her on Friday evening and over the weekend (literally less than 5 mins per day), testing in and out of order and she has got better and faster. What concerns me is that she says in class they learn by 'chanting' the sixes as a whole class. Now, I'm no teacher, but is this actually teaching times tables? How will the teacher assess whether individual children are secure with their times tables if this is how they are teaching them (presumably also assessing them on this?)

I'm getting more and more concerned about the level of teaching she's actually getting as she's easily as bright as her brother but seems behind where he was at the start if year 4 (not just times tables, but other aspects also seem to be missing). Teaching in yr 3 was very disjointed and now yr 4 not filling me with much confidence from what she tells me...

Is this method of teaching normal or would you expect them to be learned in and out of order? I know when my son was yr4 he certainly practised all times tables out of order and had them secure very quickly but it's a different teacher and it seems, a very different method.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Year 4 maths
PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 6:18 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 6966
Location: East Kent
I would be aiming for multiplication facts to be instant. So lots of different ways of teaching them, of which chanting could be one. Ideally children should know them at random and as division facts.

There are some really good games online to help her.

Try

http://www.oswego.org/ocsd-web/games/Gh ... /gbcd.html

(ghostblasters 2 is 2 person, you could compete against each other!)

http://www.arcademics.com/games/meteor/meteor.html

(love this one, it gives a diagnosis too, so that you can work on weak spots)

http://www.mad4maths.com/multiplication ... ath_games/

This is just a selection, a quick google brings up lots more, I am constantly trying new ones.

I also try and get children to recognise the set of 3 numbers, especially important in word problems eg 7,3,21 8,8,64

2,5,10

There are quite a few board games available or you could make a "cootie catcher" with the sixes on

Once you start looking for ideas it's hard to stop!

Learning by stealth, I love it!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Year 4 maths
PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 8:04 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2014 6:25 pm
Posts: 275
Yoyo, thank you v much, more info than I'd hoped for there. :)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Year 4 maths
PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 8:53 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
Posts: 8228
Really helpful links from Yoyo. Maybe you should give them to the teacher.

What you are experiencing is rubbish teaching of the timestables. Maybe the rest of the maths is better, I don't know. Hard to understand why schools have spent so much on whiteboards and networking etc if this is the best some of them can do.

It's very hard to know what do as a parent about substandard teaching. It's very uncomfortable complaining about your child's school and if they haven't got the gumption to do it any differently it just sours relationships without improving things. Sometimes it all comes from the top - headteacher to maths co-ordinator to teacher so you don't really know where to turn. Primary school governors in my experience by pass "operational matters" even when they impact on the quality of teaching and in schools with parents (like you) who help the children a lot at home they do OK with ofsted too as the end results are acceptable at KS2 and on OFSTED inspection day they can get a better lesson out of their handbag and the children lap it up with relish as it's more interesting and challenging than their day to day fodder.

All I can say is that you are lucky it is the 6x. Pretty sure my daughter (4c at the end of year 3) was back to the 2x table at the start of year 4.

It's very annoying when you realise you are going to have to torment your child with even more work at home because school is poor. If you are not working absolutely full-time maybe you can take some time off school to help fill in the gaps if it continues to be a complete washout.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Year 4 maths
PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 9:37 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2014 6:25 pm
Posts: 275
Hi Mystery, yes I'm becoming quite convinced that yr 4 will not be an improvement on yr 3, we've decided to review at the end of term and complain then if we think it's necessary. Unfortunately our primary is an outstanding Ofsted (from 08!) Which as I understand it means they won't get routine inspections unless there is a significant drop in achievement or complaints made to Ofsted. I think that is a ridiculous way of monitoring schools as the school, head teacher and other staff have changed a lot since 08, and in my opinion at the moment it's floundering and cracks are appearing.

The worst thing is that if we weren't preparing for 11+, and a lot of parents won't be, I think we'd still be assuming that school have 'it' covered in terms of her education, it's only through the work (and I really mean that in its loosest possible sense as she's only yr 4) at home that we're discovering things aren't up to scratch.

It isn't just times tables either, from more questioning it appears that there are other areas of concern.

I do work full time unfortunately, and even looked up indie fees but it's just not manageable at the moment. My plan now is to review her learning at Xmas, and complain if necessary. If they get a good teacher for yr 5, I think her learning can recover (especially with the consolidation work at home), if not then I'm going to have to get a second job and start seriously considering Indies!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Year 4 maths
PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 10:14 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:25 pm
Posts: 233
Similar experience in DS's school at the start of year 4 though I didn't realise it at that time. He picked up times tables on his own but struggled in other areas. I asked the teacher for help (at the first parent-teacher meeting in year 4) thinking he was unusually weak at some of the topics. Lo behold, I got what amounted to a good scolding from the teacher for being a pushy parent. According to her, I should leave my child to learn things at his own pace. It was a wake up call. I realised that DS's progress was up to me. Finding out everything that needed to be taught, making time after school to do them while working around DS's after-school activities and my work was exhausting. But it had to be done.

Few days ago, the school organised a meeting about the new curriculum. The maths leader went on about the new expectations especially regarding times tables. When she said that government expectations have gone up significantly as they now want children to know (fluently) up to 12x12 instead of 10x10, I laughed..just couldn't help it. Did they need a curriculum revamp to realise the basic fact that all children must be taught to become very very fluent up to 12x12?

What I have learnt from my 11+ journey with DS is that parents have to sit down with their children to go through everything starting with the basics. It is too risky to leave it to the schools. I am sure there are great primary schools out there which go above and beyond. But if your school isn't one of them and if parents have not started this process in year 4, then the 11+ journey in year 5 will be very turbulent.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Year 4 maths
PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 10:38 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
Posts: 8228
Defensive teacher comment "leave them to learn at their own pace" = "sorry I am not teaching them very much, you need to do it yourself but please don't tell me about it as it makes me feel bad".

It's definitely not like this everywhere but how you know until you are on the inside I don't know.

I think the national curriculum is built with plenty of slack in it for a bright child so two or three useless years at primary school can be made up for at some point and decent KS2 results can still be obtained particularly where the parents are involved. However, the 11 plus is less forgiving - depending on which area and which school - so yes it's a horrid wakeup call for the parent if they're depending on an 11 plus pass for some reason or other to discover in year 4 or 5 that school that particular year is a washout in terms of the basics moving forward.

But, it's better to know. Very difficult if you are working full-time and the school is particularly poor.

Can you get some work done before work and school each morning or have you left home by then? Can whoever is looking after your child before and after school help with the 11 plus work in some way?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Year 4 maths
PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 10:43 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
Posts: 8228
mumsdarling2 wrote:
Similar experience in DS's school at the start of year 4 though I didn't realise it at that time. He picked up times tables on his own but struggled in other areas. I asked the teacher for help (at the first parent-teacher meeting in year 4) thinking he was unusually weak at some of the topics. Lo behold, I got what amounted to a good scolding from the teacher for being a pushy parent. According to her, I should leave my child to learn things at his own pace. It was a wake up call. I realised that DS's progress was up to me. Finding out everything that needed to be taught, making time after school to do them while working around DS's after-school activities and my work was exhausting. But it had to be done.

Few days ago, the school organised a meeting about the new curriculum. The maths leader went on about the new expectations especially regarding times tables. When she said that government expectations have gone up significantly as they now want children to know (fluently) up to 12x12 instead of 10x10, I laughed..just couldn't help it. Did they need a curriculum revamp to realise the basic fact that all children must be taught to become very very fluent up to 12x12?

What I have learnt from my 11+ journey with DS is that parents have to sit down with their children to go through everything starting with the basics. It is too risky to leave it to the schools. I am sure there are great primary schools out there which go above and beyond. But if your school isn't one of them and if parents have not started this process in year 4, then the 11+ journey in year 5 will be very turbulent.


Yes, at one time I would have laughed too - but I've had so many scoldings from primary school I eat popcorn at this kind of meeting now to prevent myself smirking or scowling in the wrong places and to give the place the sort of fantasy atmosphere one feels on smelling popcorn at the cinema.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Year 4 maths
PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 1:29 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2014 6:25 pm
Posts: 275
Thanks both, hmm more common than I realised then! I have the flexibility of being home based which at least means that I can be at the after school club picking up by dead on 5pm most evenings, so we have time evenings and weekends, I just hadn't realised quite how much "making up" was actually going to be needed at home. The nearest grammar school sent a flyer home via primary last week for Yr4&5 "masterclasses" on Saturday mornings, and I've booked her onto the science (for fun) and English & problem solving (for help!) courses which run over the next few months and take us up to Easter - after which time I'm considering a little formal paid tuition up to summer to make sure she is up to scratch with maths & English before we start any yr 5 proper 11+ prep.

I'm surprised at how behind she is compared to where brother was at this point, although comparably she actually achieved higher KS1 levels at the end of yr2! I can only put it down to a disasterous y3. I probably would not worry so much if I thought yr 4 would make up ground, but so far it seems everything is being pitched at the children who find things more difficult, meaning she flies through work and is then given more of the same, don't appear to be any challenges or work that makes her "think".

I have to be grateful that I've caught this now, at least I do have a chance of putting it right, but it does leave me wondering whether the new curriculum and "doing away" with levels actually leaves the school better able to "hide" a lack of progress for those children who were higher achieving before the change?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Year 4 maths
PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 2:32 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 6:44 am
Posts: 488
DDs school were rubbish at a lot of things but times tables, thankfully weren't one of them. They had regular tests with jumbled times tables, so many to be done in a minute. If they passed each section they would get a wristband ie/ 3s,4s and 6s test completed would get a bronze band.
When working on them at home I found it helped her to not learn them in order. We did 9x early on as that is easy to pick up as can use the take one off and answer adds up to 9 method!


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 25 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
CALL 020 8204 5060
   
Privacy Policy | Refund Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright © 2004 – 2016