Help with maths planning

(31 Posts)
phlebasconsidered Tue 18-Feb-14 14:02:29

I have just taken over a new class in Year 5. They've had three teachers so far this year. Just before half term I got the leaving teacher to get them to sit some maths and writing papers. Writing is reasonable, and the levels are appropriate to the info i've got, but the maths is WAY out, and their papers are horrifying. I'm meant to be moving onto C2 with them, but from the papers I think fully 3/4 of the class don't get multipication, division, place value, fractions, and I could go on. Yet their levels suggest they should. It's not just a bad paper either, i've looked through their books this morning in school and their work is very gappy.

Any advice at all welcome! Currently, i'm thinking I should just plan to go back to basics for the first 4 weeks back. Oh, and there isn't another colleague to plan with, long-term sick. Thankyou, in panic!

phlebasconsidered Wed 19-Feb-14 18:27:24

Oooh, thankyou! I do like a challenge but I might find this one too much! I do feel for them though, some of them haven't had the same teacher for a whole year since Year 1, so there's a clear need for order and steadiness.

I shall label a nice bottle of Gerwertztrammer "Friday" and keep it in the fridge as an incentive. And maybe plan me a nice camping holiday for August to keep me going ( although how "relaxing" two weeks in a tent can be with a 5 and 6 year old is open to debate...)

It's seriously good to hear from other people that have done it and come out the other side, though. My only concern is how the MIB will see me, and whether i'll be a fall guy come July. But as a previous poster said, evidence is all. I'm keeping these terrible SATS papers.

I'd really like ideas on how to get them to learn tables, as well, as it's clear they don't know them. I shall do an "honesty box" and ask them to admit their tables weaknesses in confidence. They've had singing them ( didn't work), testing in the back of the book (didn't work) and going onto division regardless ( didn't work). I might have to use bribery for that too.

It's scary but i'm sort of looking forward to it. I feel a bit like an NQT again though, knowing nothing and having no planning to help me ( the cupboards are bare: no previous plans to hand). An older, fatter, NQT.

Lizziegeorge Wed 19-Feb-14 19:05:47

I teach Y6 and they come up not being secure in basic operations despite their levels saying then got reasonable marks in the optional SATS. If it was me I would blitz mental maths as much as possible; halving, doubling x10 x100 divide by 10 100 including decimals, make sure they know their addition/subtraction bonds to 20 and their tables to 12 . Then focus on operation methods and apply them to problems. If you can mange to do that it will be fantastic and prepare them really well. Fun games are Round the World maths, splat the number, silly rhymes for tables eg 8x8 is 64 oh my goodness I was sick on the floor and link cards downloadable from primaryresources.co.uk. good luck they are lucky to have a teacher who cares so much.

phlebasconsidered Wed 19-Feb-14 19:14:10

I love the rhyming! Sick on the floor is great! I'm going to google the games now. Tragically, I still always forget parts of the 7 times table myself. I don't know why!

I might have to whack up some place value heading round the room, it's clearly something they struggle with.

I've got books and books worth of mental maths tests, so they'll be dusted off. As long as I theme them, they can be fun. I usually use the doings of my naughty dog and children as a prompt. They destroy/ eat/ poop a lot.

purplebaubles Wed 19-Feb-14 20:26:03

I didn't even bother with chunking blush, I went straight to normal long division, bus stop method. And just hammered it. Found a fab powerpoint (which if you message me your email address I'll send to you) and literally we all worked together at the same pace and hammered it. Until they all got it.

It took, honestly, a little longer. Seven weeks or so? But their confidence was increased and it was totally worth it. Believe it or not, the kids actually loved doing the same thing day after day, as they got to practise it. The brighter ones I gave number cards to , and told them to do their own calculations and peer marking. I sat with the lower ones and literally spoon fed them. Really worked on their confidence.

Times tables I hammered every break and every lunch time. Literally wouldn't let the kids go until they'd answered a random question!

Mental maths, I did one full test a week and my only demand of the children was that they beat their score from the previous week.

I have to say, it's actually the most fun I've had teaching maths. It really made me question the lunacy of blocks, where you spend a random lesson here and there on say, for eg, fractions, and then don't touch it again for months! Personally, i think children need to hammer the basics, especially the ones who are weaker in maths.

phlebasconsidered Wed 19-Feb-14 21:54:55

Oh THANKYOU purple, I think that is the way to go! Blocks don't seem to hammer it in to them, and I can see why. I was that sort of learner too. Please do send me the ppt!

toomuchicecream Wed 19-Feb-14 22:46:49

If you haven't found them already, then google for the Cumbria mixed age plans - I do all my planning from them - very useful! Although between now and the end of term I reckon you're going to be so busy on the 4 number operations (and place value - sooo many children struggle with that) that you won't need the blocks!

Why not mix word problems in with your number operation work so they can apply their knowledge in different contexts. And don't forget to work on the vocab too so they know that minus = subtract = take away = find the difference etc etc etc.

I really, really like this site: www.thinkingblocks.com/ to help children work out what to do with word problems. You don't need to use the site with them much/at all, but the models on this site are based on the Singapore block method and I found it incredibly helpful as a way of helping children to visualise what they are doing.

In year 5 I used to give the children a blank times table grid to complete against the clock. It really got them used to the patterns and how to turn round the known facts (as in 4 x 6 = 6 x 4). I put the timer on the IWB and they used to write down their finish time. The challenge was to take 30 seconds off their time by next week (blank grids available for homework for those who wanted them). Alternatively, how about something like tables Olympics? www.tes.co.uk/teaching-resource/Times-table-olympics-display-3009054/ I used it very successfully with year 4 - big display of medals on ribbons - children put their laminated name on the level they'd completed. We used it across 4 ability sets in a year group of 100 and it was hugely motivating for the children in my bottom set to discover that with a bit of practise they could be on the same level as some of the children in the top group.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now