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 Post subject: Roman numeralsPosted: Wed May 11, 2016 9:26 am

Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:10 am
Posts: 185
Hi, does anyone know whether Roman numerals have come up in the Maths section recently? My son has clearly forgotten this topic and gets these wrong in the Schofield and Sims mental maths tests he's been doing. I'm just wondering if it's worth spending time on or not as its a very stand alone topic?

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 Post subject: Re: Roman numeralsPosted: Wed May 11, 2016 9:54 am

Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2010 9:45 pm
Posts: 1560
I would imagine that even if they do come up, it would probably be just one question, so probably not worth spending time on.

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 Post subject: Re: Roman numeralsPosted: Wed May 11, 2016 2:59 pm

Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2015 6:44 am
Posts: 1440
Yes I would go for negative and positive numbers, time, temperature scales, decimal to percentage to fraction (if they know 0.2 is 20% and that is one fifth - your doing fine), conversion questions although these tend to be cm to metres and area and volume interplay questions. E.g. what is the volume of a square with sides 4cm by 4cm.

BTW there is no need to go overboard on this, we had DD doing area of semi circle ie 1/2 PI R squared (pointless), but really good understanding of geometric shapes really will help, e.g. scalene and isoceles etc.

Go through BODMAS too.

The read read read read read read and a bit more reading

PP

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 Post subject: Re: Roman numeralsPosted: Wed May 11, 2016 4:26 pm

Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:10 am
Posts: 185
Thanks,that's great. The S&S books seem to have loads of conversion questions and lots of 'trick' questions where they ask a question in m and want the answer in cm for example. Is that representative?

Also, how hard was the NVR? I know the year before last my daughter said the questions for NVR were easier than what we'd been practising and we were using Bond 10 min tests. Problem is I can't remember if we used 10-11 plus or 11-12 plus books - I know for maths we went to the higher book but I really can't remember for NVR.

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 Post subject: Re: Roman numeralsPosted: Wed May 11, 2016 6:19 pm

Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2010 9:45 pm
Posts: 1560
crazycrofter wrote:
Thanks,that's great. The S&S books seem to have loads of conversion questions and lots of 'trick' questions where they ask a question in m and want the answer in cm for example. Is that representative?

Also, how hard was the NVR? I know the year before last my daughter said the questions for NVR were easier than what we'd been practising and we were using Bond 10 min tests. Problem is I can't remember if we used 10-11 plus or 11-12 plus books - I know for maths we went to the higher book but I really can't remember for NVR.

If it's about metric to imperial and vice-versa conversion, I don't think there are many questions about that and they don't normally expect children to remember how many grams in an ounce etc - so if there was a question about e.g. how many litres there are in 2.5 gallons, they would normally provide a conversion factor. It may be worth remembering approximate equivalents for pints, pounds (weight), and miles, though. The 'trick' questions where there is a mix of units of measurement are quite common. I've seen some for area calculations where one measurement was in metres and another one in cm and the answers was required to be in m2 - those are usually quite hard as children often forget that there are 10,000 cm2 in a m2, not a 100. Can't comment on NVR, sorry.

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 Post subject: Re: Roman numeralsPosted: Wed May 11, 2016 10:10 pm

Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2015 6:44 am
Posts: 1440
Agree with the 10,000cm example on volume, I saw my DD make those mistakes.

Re NVR, is often one that gets left till last. I would either ensure that this is tutored or that you follow the basics lessons for all of them. For KE it has the same amount of weighting as maths, so, its is worth putting in the a similar amount of effort .

In fact I will go out on a limb and say you should put more into the NVR element!
Why? Well my logic is that home or indeed paid tuition for maths is very low marginal return. This is because a huge amount of core skills are being undertaken at KS2 and weekly at school. I don't believe that any tutor will be able to teach your kids better than school. So you should think of Maths and tuition, much more about gap filling, speed and polishing.

NVR you get very very little from school. Logic says that the marginal return (in terms of SD score), must be massively higher whether home or privately tutored. Schools and KS2 specifically don't cover the technique and speed needed e.g. rotation and mirroring etc etc.

80/20 rule kicks in again. As a comparison

Maths

25% SD score available

School (i.e. points you would get if you did nothing) = circa 80%
Tuition (i.e points you would get through regular homework / tuition = 20%)

NVR

25% SD score available

School (i.e. points you would get if you did nothing) = circa 20%
Tuition (i.e. points you would get through regular home practice employing a tutor = 80%+

How does this translate into a real example.

If a child with a decent 11+ this year got say 238 comprised as follows

VR = 128
Maths / NVR = 110

Lets just assume they got SD scores Maths 55 and NVR 55 (110), the above %'s would imply your tuition / tutor contributed roughly 11 SD points from the maths and you would have scored 44 SD points had you done nothing (not a great return on your tuition investment.)

Now look at the potential impact from focusing on NVR. The contribution from NVR tuition is potentially a whopping 44 points, (I stood and listened to a mother and Daughter come out of the 11+ this year and the girl said she had never seen an NVR question before and did not answer a single one (it can be as stark as that).

The example I give is deliberately stark. It won't play out this starkly in practice for lots of reasons. Some kids will just be naturals at NVR and would score highly on them even if they had never seen them before, although less likely.

For most the 80/20 rule applies and if tuition got you even an extra 30 SD points (ie less than the 44) on NVR, that is still a great marginal return, on the price paid for the tutor, or your own efforts at home.

I think NVR is the Cinderella of the 11+ game and there are nicely sparkly shoes to be had (metaphorically), by putting more effort into it!!! Not as much as reading and vocab building, but I would definitely place NVR above maths this time round.

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 Post subject: Re: Roman numeralsPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 7:50 am

Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:10 am
Posts: 185
I can see what you're saying - as they will not do NVR anywhere else, there is more of an impact to be made by doing work on it. I'm not really sure how much you can do though? Just bought a Bond book and we'll see how it goes!

On the maths side, can anyone help me with how quick they need to be? Taking the Schofield & Sims mental maths book as a rough guide to the levels required - each test has between 12 and 15 questions. How long should I allow to complete them?

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 Post subject: Re: Roman numeralsPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 11:22 am

Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2015 6:44 am
Posts: 1440
Don't know about Schofield and Sims, one of my to do list things for later in the year is to buy the mental arithmetic books recommended on here. Aim would be to start building up speed from about Jan time year 5.

In the mean time, the new curriculum targets suggest they should know their times tables by heart by end of year 4, I think this was previously target for year 6. If you can achieve this by end of year 4, that is good.

Regardless of school targets, DD was able to do 100 correct random times table questions in under 2 minutes in year 5.

Were currently miles off that with DD2 in year 4. I would focus on that because it is simple and repeatable and free. Remember a lot of ground in KS2 gets covered in year 5, so KIS and focus on straight forward test speed. When you can reliably get any random 100 timetables in 2 minutes, then you know they are thinking quick and accurately able to write answers down. I am not saying don't do the wider variety of questions, e.g. 169+2345 = type stuff, but crack the back of the speed thing with something fundamental like timetables first.

PP

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 Post subject: Re: Roman numeralsPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 11:38 am

Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2010 9:45 pm
Posts: 1560
Petitpois wrote:
Don't know about Schofield and Sims, one of my to do list things for later in the year is to buy the mental arithmetic books recommended on here. Aim would be to start building up speed from about Jan time year 5.

These are pretty good and a few people have recommended them on here. They cover a wide range of topics and include varied styles of questions. Bear in mind, though, that the workbooks do not include answers, you would have to buy answers book separately (they are not expensive). The answers books are identical in layout to the questions books, but simply have answers shown next to each question, so if you wanted to work around it, you could get away with just the answers book.

If you do go for S&S, you will probably need books 4 and 5, or just 5. Book 6 has quite a lot of secondary school stuff in it.

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