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 Post subject: Tutoring 11+ Mathematics
PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 1:11 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:29 pm
Posts: 625
Hi

An off-topic debate on another link has bought up some interesting "differences" that, if people can remain polite, could lead to some interesting discussion.

I am a private tutor, with twelve years experience of tutoring children for preparation for 11+ and independent school entrance tests. My teaching qualification and experience comes from the further education sector.

I personally do not believe that a tutor requires a PGCE in Mathematics Education to be able to tutor mathematics.

The tutoring process and environment is considerably different to the teaching process and environment. In that tutors coach children on a one-to-one or small group basis, with children commencing tuition at different times and starting at different levels. The tutor identifies the individual needs of the student and works to help them attain the methods & techniques required to complete the entrance tests. This is similar to the training that a lecturer at further education level receives when teaching in an adult basic education and student support role.

Providing the tutor has attained a level of knowledge in mathematics and can effectively communicate methods & techniques to individual students, there is no need to complete examinations provided for the teaching profession that contains low relevance content for tutors.

Regards

Mike

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Mike Edwards is a co-author of The Tutors product range.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 4:22 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2007 9:28 am
Posts: 1123
Location: Bexley
Hi Mike,

I find that the way the kids are taught at school is set at the majority 'average' group. For any child outside of that, it's hard work.
My daughter frequently doesn't 'get it'. But if shown a different way by me or her tutor, it clicks and then the following maths questions are no problem.
With her school, they say she doesn't get therefore its off to SEN!

I'm not a teacher but I do work within secondary education and it disturbs me to see so many kids stressed and cannot get a simple sum correct.

I have been using my methods on my daughter and she loves the way I show her how to do different things. I have the rest of the family in hysterics, but if it works, so what?

Example. With times tables, although in yr 4 squares are not really needed, I quickly realised that if she knew her squares it would make tables and then sequences easier. I drew a little 2 above a 3 to indicate 3 squared. I asked her if she had ever seen that. She hadn't. I then told her it wasn't a little 2 but a swan gliding on a lake. So she learned all her squares up to 15 x 15 within days. Obviously have now told her the real term for them but when 2 squared was shown in school the other day, my daughter was the only one to put her hand up with the correct answer!

Example. Brackets are not brackets - they are long arms to give the special bit a hug. The special bits are done first.

Example. Daughter gets 17 - 6 = 11 struggled with ?? - 6 = 11.
So for this type of problem I told her that the figures were all naughty horses who jumped the fence (the = being the fence) and as they were naughty, their signs have to change. Sounds stupid but it works!

Example. Perimeter, daughter is on a bike outside the park gates which are closed. She has to cycle all the way around to find the next open gate.

I could go on and on!

My daughter does not seem to learn like other kids in the class but enjoys herself a lot more with me and the tutor and if it gets the right result, at this young age, does it matter how she achieves it? It's given her bags of confidence too.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 4:38 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11932
Unfortunately much of the tutoring seems to go for a simple 'fix' and not develop the understanding - also if you have not studied the pedagogy of teaching how can you decide the 'best' way to help a child?

Yes - tutoring is different but in a class you do both all the time. You share the learning objectives for the lesson (probably differentiated) and then do a 'warm up' or starter to assess prior learning. You then share the task and model - all the tike trying to draw out from the class how to apporach the topic.

Tasks are then assigned and you go round the class - effectively tutoring one-to-one - work should not be the same for all children.

In the plenary you check the learning ourcomes have been achieved and often you 'peep' at what comes next e.g. what if the triangle didn't have a right angle?

Teaching and tutoring are both very complex - to be effective you need a thorough understanding of the subject to degree level and then continuing study of relevant pedagogy -

Ofsted described my department as 'passionate' about sharing their love and understanding of mathematics - I never sit on my laurels :lol:


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 6:42 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2008 5:15 pm
Posts: 253
Location: Birmingham
Thanks, Tracy for your helpful tips on how you help your daughter. I may use them with mine if that's OK!! I have a year 5 daughter and year 4 son. My daughter often doesn't concentrate and therefore does not retain her mathematical knowledge very well. Also she makes really silly mistakes!! She often has understood what to do but then makes a careless error when adding or subtracting or when placing a decimal point. Perhaps guest 55 could give me some helpful tips on reducing these errors and getting her to give full concentration. We have drawn up a " mind map" which helps with maths word problems and she refers to this when doing her maths homework.

Many thanks,
Clarendon


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 6:48 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11932
Get her to estimate the size of the answer before doing the calculation - this will help her LOOK at the numbers and not just go through the motions. It's especially helpful with decimal points ...


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 9:29 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:18 pm
Posts: 490
Location: kent
Estimating the answer first is good.

This might also work - depends on what motivates your daughter: Get her to work out the percentage she got correct each time she does an exercise.

Then get her to work out for herself what she got wrong on the questions she got wrong ...... if she can. If not, work out with her what she got wrong.

Get her then to work out which questions she got wrong because of "careless slips" and the percentage she would have got right if she had not made the careless slips.

Get her to keep a graph of these percentages ----- the percentage she got right and the percentage she could have got right. See how it illustrates to her the improvement in her results, and the improvement in her accuracy over time.

Does the teacher require corrections to be done? Quite often, the desire not to have to do corrections is sufficient to motivate people to be more accurate in the first place.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:13 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:29 pm
Posts: 625
Hi

Why would someone teaching 11+ Mathematics be required to have a full grasp of the subject to degree level?

None of the primary teachers that I have employed have had a mathematics degree.

A primary school NQT (newly qualified teacher) would not cover any of the non-curriculum mathematics for the 11+ and would never have seen a multiple-choice question at any point in their training.

The majority of primary teachers in the UK never see 11+ content because most LEAs do not set 11+ entrance tests.

(O.T., but related)
No teacher employed in any school in the UK would have received any formative training in completing all the mathematics question types contained in the verbal reasoning 11+ questions.

A teacher working in the secondary sector would not have any direct involvement in teaching 11+ mathematics either for the 11+ mathematics tests or the verbal reasoning mathematics content.

I can fully understand the need for a PGCE in Mathematics Education for those teachers working in UK secondary schools but not for tutors preparing children for 11+ tests.

Regards

Mike

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Mike Edwards is a co-author of The Tutors product range.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 3:22 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2007 9:28 am
Posts: 1123
Location: Bexley
Clarendon, by all means use my tips if it helps. They have worked for my daughter and as soon as she is confident with a topic then I show her the schools's way of doing it and she's fine with both ways.
It seems like it's long winded but my daughter can get each topic now quite quickly and I try to teach her topics in advance of what is coming up at school. She feels like a right little brainbox!
I don't try to undermine the teachers but sometimes they simply don't get through. But with a bit more time and things put a different way, my daughter gets it.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 4:32 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
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Sorry - there are multiple choice questions in some exams NQTs will have sat. My child has already sat several including the PMC and Junior Maths challenge - KS tests also have multiple choice format questions. i.e. tick the appropriate response -

Are you saying that tutoring is just teaching 'tricks'? If it is 'real teaching' then you need to understand pedagogy.

Tutors should not teach methods that will make it hard for the child later in Secondary school - therefore they need to understand the curriculum.

Many teachers go through the familiarisation packs with their Year 5/Year 6 classes so clearly they do know what is in the papers.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 8:05 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 6963
Location: East Kent
I have a PGCE in later years primary and my degree is in Chemistry with Management science (which is basically applied maths)

Teaching a class and 1:1 are very different skills a good teacher employs both.

Although the knowledge base is important it is vitally important that the tutor/teacher can get the subject across, see where pupils are having difficulties and then try different approaches to reinforce the concepts.

No 2 children are alike. Neither are 2 teachers alike, so may use different skills to get to the desired outcome.


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