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 Post subject: vr maths brackets questions - any tips pleasePosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:20 am

Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:28 pm
Posts: 417
Has anyone got any tips on these, sorry not sure what letter or number type they are called. 2 numbers outside brackets 1 inside. These seem to be causing the most trouble. If you don't see it straight away is there a systematic approach that helps? Thanks in advance.

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 Post subject: Re: vr maths brackets questions - any tips pleasePosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:35 am

Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 4:07 pm
Posts: 2660
At the start of my tuition, I always write 'helpful' notes next to each type within the test that is left for homework. For type K bracket maths, I write the following:

Middle number has been made using the numbers either side.
Same rule must apply for all 3 sets.
Sometimes 1 operation. Sometimes 2.
Second operation can be:

1] + - x / [divide sign!] the same number.
2] doubling/halving
3] + - x / [divide sign] the number on the left or right of the middle number.

Whilst teaching, I always say:

If the number in the middle is bigger than the 2 either side then your 1st operation is probably adding or multiplying.

If the number in the middle is smaller that at least one of the numbers either side, then your 1st operation is probably subtracting or dividing.

I always emphasise the word probably, because there are times when this rule will not work, they are not to panic, if it doesn't work, thats fine, just try the other 2 operations.

Patricia

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 Post subject: Re: vr maths brackets questions - any tips pleasePosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:12 am

Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:54 pm
Posts: 1770
Location: caversham
DS2 found these very hard, as it involves trial and error if you can't see a pattern. We used a longer checklist of possibilities from a "How to do guide". It improved his scores as he became more familiar with the concept of trying multiple routes to get to the answer. They can be tough questions, sometimes you miss the obvious and over complicate.

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 Post subject: Re: vr maths brackets questions - any tips pleasePosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:10 pm

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8201
Location: Buckinghamshire
I think these are particularly hard for some children because they are used to working from left to right in maths, e.g. A _ B _ C, and these questions go left, right, middle, i.e. A _ C _ B. Visually not every child can cope with that.

I found it useful when they were struggling with one of these questions to get them to quickly re-write the numbers in the first set of brackets in the "usual" direction because it can help them to see the problem in the format they are used to.

So, (7 [63] 9) becomes 7 _ 9 _ 63.

There may still be a missing step (e.g. 7 x 9 - 2 = 61), but if their mental maths is fairly sound they will recognise that 7 x 9 does not equal 61 from their years of seeing times tables, and realise that that something else has gone on.

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 Post subject: Re: vr maths brackets questions - any tips pleasePosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:28 pm

Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 4:07 pm
Posts: 2660
Of the 4 maths questions this is the one that children take the longest to "get"

However if they keep to the basic rules working logically making notes as they go along, they become with practice easy 100% marks.

I "moan" when a child gets it wrong and there are no notes present, I ask them to complete again using the method and techniques I have showed them, which includes note taking and their response when they find the correct answer: "oh yeah"

Some children try to work it through in their head first, then quickly get lost particularly when the answer involves that second operation. I encourage [well insist] thay make notes as they are thinking, soon the picture/sequence will appear in front of their eyes, not lost in their head.

Patricia

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 Post subject: Re: vr maths brackets questions - any tips pleasePosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:12 am

Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:54 pm
Posts: 1770
Location: caversham
Sally-Anne wrote:
So, (7 [63] 9) becomes 7 _ 9 _ 63

That looks interesting will give it a go.

Quote:
Some children try to work it through in their head first, then quickly get lost particularly when the answer involves that second operation. I encourage [well insist] thay make notes as they are thinking, soon the picture/sequence will appear in front of their eyes, not lost in their head.

Patricia

That is an issue too.

Thinking about it re-writing the question starts the note process, I will try to turn it into a grid going down the page of possible solutions.

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 Post subject: Re: vr maths brackets questions - any tips pleasePosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 11:31 am

Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:28 pm
Posts: 417
Patricia
Could you explain what you mean about notes please. Do you mean noting down possible solutions as you try them out? Or do you have a set order that the pupil goes through? Sorry to be a bit dim but I'm not 100% sure what you mean.

I have been going with ...look at size of numbers as to indication of which operation might be involved, try the operations out, then maybe see if you need to double half anything or take/add 1 or 10 etc I have been encouraging lots of x tables practice as obviously this is crucial.

I can see how Sally Annes idea might be useful and I am going to try that.

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