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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:52 am 
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My DD is accurate but still very slow in her VR papers (she will also do Maths and English papers) so I'm looking for any shortcuts in her technique that may help her to speed up.
I found a post by Patricia in her tips thread (v useful-thanks!) which mentioned that she uses the "find the 1st three letters" method for codes first but also teaches another 2 faster methods to some children but I couldn't find the methods mentioned anywhere- does anyone know what these are?


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 4:46 pm 
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BUMP.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 6:26 pm 
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There is an explanation of it by Sally Anne on p 6 of this thread: viewtopic.php?f=12&t=4782&start=30

It is definitely somewhere else as well (in a bit more detail, although thew last 2 methods are the same) because I have a print out of it, but can't find where I got it from. If I can find it I'll post again.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 6:40 pm 
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Found it.

http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/forum/11plus/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=6815


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 7:17 pm 
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One alternative is to identify the first and last letters only, but it isn't foolproof. Anything that involves repeatedly checking the answer sheet is probably going to slow them down even further. Chidren who have trouble with these questions do also seem to have trouble keeping their place as they work, and they are often the ones who have trouble locating right the answer box on the answer sheet as well. More checking of the answer sheet is unlikely to help.

By far the biggest problem with these questions is children solving them in the wrong direction and having to start again. Go to the second line and say to yourself "Am I being asked to find a word or a code?" If it is a WORD, go straight to the WORD on the top line and put your finger on it. Keep your finger there while you write the CODE above it. Then solve downwards. I find it helps to ignore the bit that says "what is the code for ...?" and "what does ... mean?" Just look at what you've got in front of you and decide what you are being asked for!

Then make sure that their non-writing finger is on the code to be solved so they don't lose their place. The pencil should be working along the alphabet (using dots, not loops, if they need to make any mark at all) for accurate counting.

There are two ways to attack these codes and different methods suit different children. Using this example:

If the code for PIANO is QKDRT, what is the code for VIOLIN?

Method 1 is to solve P to Q (+1) and immediately apply it to the V of VIOLIN, giving W, and so on for each letter, holding the required operation in memory.

Method 2 is to solve the sequence of operations first and only then apply it to the word VIOLIN. That invariably reveals a pattern, and it can save a lot of time. In this case the pattern is +1, +2, +3, ... By the time the third letter has been solved the pattern is obvious (subject to a quick glance to check that it doesn't revert to +1 again) and the child only needs to write out +4, +5 and then go straight on to finding the code for VIOLIN. Where the pattern is not a simple repetition of the same operation (e.g. +2, +2, +2) it may help to strike out each step as you go.

Some children can actually spot the pattern, hold it in their mind and apply it while using Method 1, but the great majority can't.

For long codes (6 or more letters) where the pattern is the same (e.g. +2, +2, +2) it is often only necessary to solve the first three letters and the last. That is where solving the pattern first comes into its own.

Also, for four letter codes, don't bother checking the answer sheet for "speed cheats" after 3 letters - it is quicker just to solve the code!

I hope that is clear and it speeds things up a bit.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:33 pm 
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Which method I use is very much child dependent.

Using the first and last letters is a very good technique for children who can quickly manipulate letters and numbers. Every year I get a rough 50/50 who can do it, the others use the tried and tested finding the first 3 letters.

For some children [again 50/50] I get them to draw an arrow to show which way they are working instead of writing the word or code on top.

If the code for LUCK is JSAI, what does EMMB mean?

As we are looking for a word, JSAI would be written on top of LUCK.

Or with some chlidren they would just draw an arrow pointing from the code to the word which shows them to work from J to L, S to U, etc

..............................
If the code for LUCK is JSAI, what does EMMB mean?

The arrow would be a tad larger and the dots would not be present! The arrow is very important due to the variation of how these codes are written out.

Years and years of experience tells me very quickly which children can and which ones cannot. However you can try all methods in one lesson and see how they get on.

Patricia


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 6:47 pm 
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Patricia it is really helpful and generous of you to share years of your expertise with us in this way. The arrow technique wouldn't have occurred to me.

Just out of interest, in VIOLIN in the above example would the second letter 'I' have the name numerical value as the first 'I' or would its order in the word mean you continue to add on?


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 7:48 am 
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Thank you.


PIANO is QKDRT, what is the code for VIOLIN?

P to Q = +1 ........V + 1
I to K = +2
A to D = +3
N to R = +4
O to T = +5

You would carry on the seqence as...

The code for the first I is I to K + 1
The code for the second I is O to T +5

Patricia


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:44 pm 
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Thanks Patricia. Gosh, it would be easy to slip up with that, thinking 'I' once solved would be the same letter code twice.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:10 pm 
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Many thanks for sharing your tips Patricia (and also Sally-Anne and scary mum of course) - I will try out these other methods on DD. She has improved but is still cutting it quite fine on timing. We have 10 weeks to go until the 11+ here so that should be plenty of time to see if she is one of the 50% who "get it".


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