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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:28 am 

Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:22 pm
Posts: 710
DS is in Y5 and has always been good at maths; I'd say (as a teacher myself-just not a maths one!) that he's a 4a/5c now. They've been set for maths and whilst he's in the top table of the top set, there are a wedge of boys who always get 20/20 in their weekly mental maths tests, whereas DS tends to get 17/18. The rational calm part of me says that this is a brilliant score and he's doing well. The irrational part of me says that it's the boys who are getting 20 consistently will be the ones who end up at grammar school! I know, I KNOW I sounds ridiculous, and if a parents came to see me about their child who was in their class I would reassure them how well they are doing, but I want him to be better :lol:

I've been doing some Y6 mental maths test with him at home and again he gets 17/18 out of 20-just gets let hown on silly things-mainly because he frantically tries to do things in a slightly haphazard way in his head, rather than spending time calmly trying to do a quick logical calculation.

Am I being ridiculous (obviously I haven't said *any* of this to him-he has just told me what other people have got in passing)? Yes, I know I am really! Is there anything I can do to help him?! His times tables are secure, it's just the using and
applying bit. Just more practice!?

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:34 am 

Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 4:22 pm
Posts: 347
Location: West Yorks
Some things, like maths are best learnt by rote with things like times tables so maybe a times tables CD could help out?

Alos, have a look at maths whizz online, you have to pay for it but there are loads of free resources available, we haven't paid and have got loads from it, if they are not scoring highly in a particular area then they get tutorials and work through it which are great and work really well, it certainly helped my DS with his fractions!

Vic x

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:37 am 

Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:03 pm
Posts: 1413
Hi Manana,

I'm not greatly experienced in this area (yet!) though very interested. And I would be like you, every mark counts and in some super-selective schools the competition is fierce!

I wonder if you could get him to do the mental maths questions (is there a type he often gets wrong because of the 'haphazard in his head' method, rather than doing the logical calculation?) slowly, untimed, so that he really practices doing it slowly and in a logical way, so that that becomes the 'habit' method, rather than the panic method? Hope that makes sense? :? :)


Seize the day ... before it seizes you.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:14 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 12:47 pm
Posts: 698
Location: Essex
You could perhaps turn it into a joint mental (but largely oral) session at home. Both of you do the questions and take turns in explaining how you get to your answers. This may highlight areas where his strategies are letting him down. Where his strategy is fine but careless application leads to incorrect answers, hopefully talking it through will help him identify the part of the process where he tends to make the mistakes. Making it an oral exercise will force him to put his ideas in order instead of it all going on in his head at once. Hopefully!

The other thing is timing. Perhaps he is rushing through questions because he is acutely sensitive to time pressure. Maybe all he needs to do is slow down a bit. Oh, checking he's happy with his answer is always a good idea. Proper checking, not the "I've written something, so that's fine" sort. :lol:

Good luck!

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:04 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 13992
Are his tables secure or is it the application that he struggles with?

Old KS2 papers on www.emaths.co.uk including the mental tests.

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