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CURIOUSMIND Mon 17-Oct-11 14:13:35

My DS1 is very advanced on maths, he is working on L6-L7 in year3. I know the teaching for him is next to nothing although they said they will accommdate his ablity.

Anyway, everytime when the homework is maths, he was given a puzzle(I mean everytime).Well, some of them are logical and fun, you do need to work step by step in mathmatic method. (I pursuaded myself not to complain because it will only make DS1 feel bad although I really feel they are running out of idea to challenge a gifted mathematician).

It goes extremly far for a week.He was given a puzzle which has little to do with maths, but needs awful lots of trying.I agreed my DS1 to not doing this homework. He then wrote down on his book(He said he needed to tell the teacher why.) :I found this puzzle is not very logical, you need to try and try again.

The week after, The teacher left this msg: Thank you very much for your commments.However this homework is not optional.

My immediate feeling is to leave her: Could you please explain to Ds1 how to sort out this puzzle in mathematic method?

But, I think I would consult mumsnet first. Could you please show your opinion?

NatashaBee Mon 17-Oct-11 14:20:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Georgimama Mon 17-Oct-11 14:23:19

Your son wrote the original comment? This probably got up the teacher's nose. You should have written a note about it yourself (or better, made an appointment to discuss the lack of provision of proper extension work). Now there is tension you definitely need to make an appointment to discuss it. Notes are rarely helpful.

EdithWeston Mon 17-Oct-11 14:27:40

Would you be able to post the puzzle (or is that too identifying now)?

One of my DS did extension maths, and that sometimes included logic puzzles which did not include arithmetic at all, but they were still very useful in developing the problem solving skills needed to go from arithmetics to mathematics (IYSWIM).

NotJustClassic Mon 17-Oct-11 14:51:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

iggly2 Mon 17-Oct-11 16:00:42

I am very interested in what the puzzle is. If it involves lots of "trying" then part of the logic maybe as simple as working out a system that makes sure you have not repeated previous attempts. I think an attempt should always be made, he may have got satisfaction out of succeeding.

madwomanintheattic Mon 17-Oct-11 16:43:23

well, homework isn't optional. if he found it difficult, i'm slightly at a loss as to why you are complaining his needs aren't being met. surely the value was to be gained by attempting it, rather than letting him off?

are the school only supposed to set a gifted mathematician homework that he finds easy?

i think if he was telling the teacher her job (or she read it that way) then she has every right to be snippy.

Appuskidu Mon 17-Oct-11 16:53:11

Your note comes across as rather rude. One one hand, you want his special needs to be catered for yet on the other hand; you are happy to let him off things that need a bit more thought!

Please could you tell us what the homework is?

cece Mon 17-Oct-11 16:53:57

There is such a method as trial and error in maths. I teach it to my pupils hmm

SeveredHeadsDragonTheFloor Mon 17-Oct-11 17:07:49

To be fair, the teacher is right: homework is not optional whether you think it illogical or not.

Perhaps it was set to make your son look at things differently rather than with a set-in-stone logical approach.

LynetteScavo Mon 17-Oct-11 17:21:08

How long did he spend trying to do it? If he spend 30 minutes, or whatever the expected time is to be spent on homework, and couldn't compete it, then fair enough.

I think asking the teacher to show DS how to solve the problem is fine if he has had a good go at at, and is willing to admit defeat.

iggly2 Mon 17-Oct-11 18:02:11

Nothing beats a good puzzle....isn't it what maths was invented forgrin

He's in year 3! Of course homework is optional! He's in primary school!!! I know loads of parents who refuse on principle to make their children to do homework this young - it's just there as an option, that's all.
While I don't necessarily agree with that approach, I am fortunate that my child's school deliberately do not have homework until year 6.

CURIOUSMIND Tue 18-Oct-11 13:06:08

Thank you guys! All opinions appreciated!
The puzzle is :
A six-pointed star is drawn with six lines and twelve vertices. Arrange the integers 1 through 12, one on each vertex, so that the four integers on each line add to 26. 2 numbers are given.
This is a Trial and Error question.Trial and Error doesn't mean just try randomly, it's serious logical.
Ok, guys, try see anybody can do it in 30 mins or longer?
I don't think my Ds1 can do it in 30 mins or even longer ,fine if it's a quality question.

The message left was DS1's idea.It's showing what he found out so far.(Not very much as an explanation indeed.) Actually, from a y3 child' point, it is only showing what he thought about the question, but from an adult's point of view, the message is rude? Criticizing? Got on the teacher's nose?

I apologized to the teacher by the way for NO good reason.I simply don't want to irritate her, for the moment.

EdithWeston Tue 18-Oct-11 14:22:44

I'm finding it difficult to envisage a 6-pointed star drawn with only 6 lines!

This is probably a logic puzzle based on identifying most plausible combinations and testing hypotheses. Working out where to place the big numbers (which can probably be done by testing pairs and referencing to given numbers) is probably the key closely followed by working out which numbers need to be on the shared places.

AnxiousElephant Tue 18-Oct-11 14:23:00

Surely the fact that he has to try and try is a good thing? The whole point is to challenge him and to develop him. IMO to create perseverance is essential if he is to achieve his full potential regardless of how far ahead he is.

I am constantly having to ask for more challenge!

AnxiousElephant Tue 18-Oct-11 14:25:15

Grey if the school gives homework it isn't optional and by parents deciding they don't have to do it they inadvertantly undermine the teacher which is never a good thing ime.

alison222 Tue 18-Oct-11 14:30:24

It looks like it would take me a while - I just drew it out to look at it.
The logic would have to go something like the larger numbers need to be on shared lines otherwise you can't get each line to add up to enough. - not sure without sitting for a while where to go next without some trial and error though.

Think this is fairly time consuming probably ( Would frustrate DS yr 6 G&T for maths)

reallytired Tue 18-Oct-11 14:42:47

I think its fair enough to tell the teacher that the particular puzzle is too hard for your ds. If he has spent 30 minutes on the puzzle then that is fair enough. It sounds like a puzzle that would challenge an A-level maths student. It is ridicolous to expect a child who is level 6/7 standard maths to manage a puzzle of that level of difficulty.

I am not surprised that the comment annoyed the teacher. It seems you need better communication.

EdithWeston Tue 18-Oct-11 14:46:13

CURIOUSMIND: Ok - I've worked out what the star must look like. Where are the two given numbers? If the top point is A, the next line B-E, next F&G, then H-K, and bottom point L, which two letters are the two given numbers?

anxiouselephant I do not necessarily agree with the approach (for exactly the reason you have given btw), but Government guidelines are very clear that whilst homework is to be encouraged, it is absolutely not compulsory and I know of at least one teachers union (atl) who want it completely banned for primary schools.

onefatcat Tue 18-Oct-11 14:59:38

I think it is perfectly acceptable for you to explain to the teacher that your child found their homework too challenging this particular week. I think maybe the teacher is under the impression that ds just opted out of his own accord, maybe you should have written a little note to her yourself.

RitaMorgan Tue 18-Oct-11 15:04:29

I think this is a miscommunication - your ds found the puzzle too hard to complete, however the note sounds like he didn't want to try.

Call the teacher and explain that he did try to do the homework but it was a bit beyond him.

Lexilicious Tue 18-Oct-11 15:05:51

OK, I've got my six pointed star drawn (two overlaid triangles) and I've ID'd where the vertices are. What are the two given numbers and where are they?

BelleEnd Tue 18-Oct-11 15:08:06

I think that the note sounded rude, and I agree with the teacher that homework isn't optional.

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