# Talk

## HELP! Calling Scots maths teachers!

(17 Posts)
Baconyum Mon 21-Dec-15 18:51:08

Daughter panicking with studying for maths prelims in Jan. I'm working with her on the anxiety side of things but I kinda don't blame her.

She's a good student but last year their scheduled teacher took very ill and they ended up with a series of not good sub teachers, also school didn't seem to organise the sub teachers well. This year they've got a permanent teacher but he's not very approachable and I suspect panicked himself about getting them up to scratch for the prelims (this was one of the top classes, nat 5) and so a concern for the schools results I think. The students felt rushed through on some areas and didn't speak up and so I think areas they didn't 'get' the teacher thought they had...nightmare for teacher and students I think. At parents eve I raised this and he did say he had been told this by a few of the parents so in the last few weeks of term he tried to cover the areas they were stuck on.

I'm rubbish at maths Myself and so no bloody use at all!

Eg my answer to the below was £120

"A microwave was sold for £150 this price Inc vat at 20%, calculate the price of the oven" so I figured 10% is £15, so 20% is £30 therefore pre vat price £120 but answer is £125? So I'm thinking what I did wrong was calculate the percentage based on the price including vat when it's asking to calculate the price before the vat added? I vaguely remember doing this YEARS ago as a data clerk but I've forgotten how! Plus how they show workings has COMPLETELY changed!

She's finding the sqa site not very helpful and difficult to navigate, ditto edmodo which also keeps bloody crashing! She's found a couple of things on YouTube channel mahalo but we're struggling to find helpful sites.

This is what she tells me she's struggling with:

"Finding the equations of straight lines in the form y=MX+c" I'm not sure how to describe that so have just put the question.

Changing the subject in formulae

Finding the point of intersection of straight lines

Rainbow brackets?

Dividing vulgar fractions (but not simple equations)

Calculating volume

Algebra - some of the questions on the past papers don't seem clear.

Of course don't expect mners to do the questions but can you signpost us to websites/resources that may help? We're a bit desperate here

IsItMeOr Mon 21-Dec-15 19:25:25

Okay, I don't know all of the later ones, but you are right that the microwave example wants you to work out the price excluding VAT. I find it helps to think of the price including VAT as 120% of the price excluding VAT. So you need to calculate £150 / 120 * 100 to get the price exc VAT. So £125.

Hopefully this will help bump your thread so that others will be able to suggest websites to try.

You might try asking MNet to change your thread title for more traffic - maths isn't really different in Scotland and you probably don't need a teacher for this one. Good luck!

PS Happy to help with some other examples later if you're still stuck.

Mon 21-Dec-15 19:28:02

Do you have the 'How to Pass National 5 Maths book?' My Dd found it useful.

Why do you have to be a Scots maths teacher to help with this? Despite being English I will give you some tips on the things that are not totally problem specific:

For your first question, if the question is actually to calculate the price before VAT you want to know what number times 1.2 gives 150, and that is 125.

For lines, it depends on what you are told. If for example you are given two points on the line (x1, y1), (x2, y2) then you get M and C by solving the equations
y1 = M*x1+c
y2 = M*x2+c
Most people would probably do this by solving first for M = (y2-y1)/(x2-x1) as that's the slope, then find c. Finding the intersection of two straight lines is kinda like the backwards version - you might be given M1, c1, M2, c2 and need to find which x and y fits both.

Quadratic equations depends a bit on how you approach them. There's always the formula for the solution (Google that, the formula would be ugly here) of the equation
ax^2 + bx + c = 0
I struggled with spotting factors like a(x+B)(x+C) but a bit of practice can help and many kids find that much easier.

The only other thing I can help with directly is dividing vulgar fractions. First get rid of any whole numbers, then flip the fraction you are dividing by, and multiply what you get: e.g.

1 3/4 div by 2 7/8 = 7/4 div by 23/8 = 7/4 * 8/23 = 14/23

The rest needs advice from someone more familiar with your syllabus level. Calculating volume depends a lot on the shape you are dealing with so looking up approaches to particular shapes would be a good start.

jeanne16 Mon 21-Dec-15 19:40:34

There are lots of useful maths websites that will help with all these topics. She could try BBC Bitesize, Hegarty maths or purchase the CGP workbook plus DVD.

Baconyum Mon 21-Dec-15 20:39:39

Thanks so much for all the responses. The reason I put Scots maths teachers is because I have friends that teach maths in England who've tried to help but the way the workings have to be shown is apparently different up here? I'm not sure why that is.

The explanations of the vat question make total sense of course that's 120% of the original price (facepalm moment!)

Some of the replies i don't understand but dd might. We've tried bitesize without much success but I'll pass on the other tips from you all Inc jeanne16

Again thanks SO MUCH!

Baconyum Mon 21-Dec-15 20:52:52

Dotdotdotmustdash I've ordered that book! Thank you

Mon 21-Dec-15 21:57:17

Those books exist for most of the Nat 5 subjects and are very useful.

Baconyum Mon 21-Dec-15 23:02:06

Yes I saw that when I ordered. She's doing pretty well and is reasonably confident in her other subjects (but of course extra help is always good) but the maths in particular is where she's stuck and panicking.

Mon 21-Dec-15 23:13:53

The Nat 5 maths course tough unless you're naturally good at Maths. Luckily the Universities are only looking for a C pass for most non-stem courses. My Dd (now 6th year) only got a C, but has unconditional offers for her chosen uni courses.

Baconyum Tue 22-Dec-15 03:45:19

That's good to know dotdotdotmustdash. Dd has always found maths easy until last year when each sub teacher they got told them the previous teacher had taught them wrong and they should be doing it this way

So from finding it easy she now panics and Freeze's if she's not totally sure she's doing it right!

Pobspits Tue 22-Dec-15 05:46:42

I'm not a maths teacher but am a fellow N5 (mature) student so will come back later and see if I can be of use...

Interesting point about Scottish working details having to be different. I'd love to know what that is about. Just getting my DS to do ANY working is a triumph.

Baconyum Thu 24-Dec-15 23:23:31

Dotdotdotmustdash the book arrived yesterday. Dd is delighted and says it clearly explains the things she was struggling with (she's not looked in detail yet as she has a schedule and yesterday didn't include maths and she's allowed herself today and yesterday off).

Thanks all for responding.

Pobspits you have my admiration as I COULD NOT do maths again. (Evidenced by my stupidity with the vat question )

Roguedad it is interesting and frustrating. But then I've also noticed (as did my parents when trying to help me with maths as a teen) that it changes over the years. What layout and how much working is to be shown. My parents couldn't get their heads round workings needing to be shown at all (of the generation that left school at 14/15) as long as the answers were correct surely that's what matters was their view.

My school experience with maths was miserable. I was top class for everything else and so placed in top class for maths too even though I struggled. As a result I think my teacher merely viewed me as an inconvenience that would bring his results down. He actually almost said as much once. Was quite impatient even with good students.

cdtaylornats Mon 28-Dec-15 22:05:25

She should try Scholar
scholar.hw.ac.uk/

Its very highly praised

The courses available are listed below

Salmotrutta Wed 30-Dec-15 14:21:08

SCHOLAR registration is done through schools so it's worth finding out OP if your child's school is registered. If it is your child will have a personal password etc.

Baconyum Thu 31-Dec-15 00:16:44

Thanks we'll look into that.

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