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How do I persuade DS to follow a process in MATHS

(5 Posts)
drosophila Thu 01-Mar-07 07:42:28

DS is 7 and loves maths. He is getting into trouble at school cos he doesn't want to follow a process when he can work out the answer in his head.

Currently they are 'doubling' numbers and he had 4 'sums' to do. He worked out in his head the right answer but when he was told to write the process down he proceeded to talk and disrupt the other kids.

In an attempt to challenge him I asked him to double a three digit number. |He gave it a good stab but got confused. Point made I thought but then he asked me to ask the teacher to give him three digit numbers as he can see the point when a sum is difficult.

Thing is I can see his point but not sure what to do. Is there much difference in doubling three digit numbers to two digit numbers?

GhostOfMumsnet Thu 01-Mar-07 07:44:15

if he was in my maths group and he could do it in his head and verbally explain it then whats the point in getting him to write it down, hes already proved he can do it he'll be fed up proving his skills

drosophila Thu 01-Mar-07 07:50:17

Ghost. I take it you are a teacher? DS's teacher explained to me that if he doesn't write down the process then he will not be able to do so for a more difficult sum. It is probably complicated in that he would rather do anything other than write as he physically finds it difficult.

My sister also a teacher agrees.

My view is more like yours cos I know I would have been hacked off with this as a kid. I get pissed off now at work when I have to go around the houses to get something done.

What do you think I should say to his teacher. I am only worried cos he got a right tongue lashing yesterday.

Ali5 Thu 01-Mar-07 08:05:04

I'm with ghost on this, if he can do doubling 2 digits in his head then he needs more challenging work! He'll get bored. I understand what the teacher is trying to do - it's a good skill to have and yes, being able to explain what you have done cements the skill so it can be applied to more difficult situations. I've tried to do this with 11 year olds and they find it hard to explain what they've done 'I just know it' is often the response!
Try and get him to tell you what he's done in his head and you note it down - or get him to give you a digit number to double and you show him how to write down the process you went through. The teacher should really have done this though. Perhaps you could ask her to show him how to record it and let her know what he said about doing it with bigger numbers.

drosophila Thu 01-Mar-07 08:32:11

Thanks guys. He can explain it to me although I'm not sure his explanation is along the lines a teacher would expect. It makes perfect sense to me but I have a funny way at looking at things.

The thing is the way he is expected to write it own is very alien to me (drawing lines and boxes) so my methods are more in line with how I was taught. He is very intuitive with numbers and I really would like to see this skill developed. It doesn't help us that his parents are not exactly maths gurus. His other great passion is science and again I pity him his parents.


I will speak to his teacher and mention the 3 digit number idea.

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