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DS going into year 6 - how do I help to raise his grades?

(11 Posts)
SmellySkidMarks Mon 29-Aug-11 09:21:48

DS hates school and isn't very academic. He's currently hovering around national average on English and Science but is below average in Maths. He attends a special maths group to help him with this but his teacher hinted to me that he is likely to get level 4s on English and Science in year 6 and perhaps a level 3 in Maths. This worried me because the secondary school he will attend stream the first years based on these results which will put DS in the lowest class.
How do I help bump him up to a level 4? I will be doing 20 mins or so of Bitesize with him every night before bed (he enjoys this as I let him cuddle in my bed and use my "posh" laptop). What else can I do without "over" doing it?

ProfessionallyOffendedGoblin Mon 29-Aug-11 09:24:12

Does he know, use and apply all his times tables?
It is a basic tool that many in Y6 don't have at their fingertips, which slows down calculations and prevents them from using tables to solve problems efficiently, including division.

SmellySkidMarks Mon 29-Aug-11 09:27:22

No he doesn't know them very well. What's the best way of teaching them?

2 4 6 8 10 etc

or

one 2 is 2, two 2's are 4, three twos are 6 etc?

SmellySkidMarks Mon 29-Aug-11 09:27:43

(obviously he does know his 2 times tables lol)

OhYouBadBadKitten Mon 29-Aug-11 09:30:37

he needs instant recall so 5x2=10. The best way I've found is to pick a time (like on the way to school) and just ask random questions in the x-table he is learning. Every day for 5 minutes. It makes a massive difference.

Iamseeingstars Mon 29-Aug-11 09:34:59

Do a search on the internet for times tables, there are loads of really fun games that kids can play that help improve confidence.

Knowing tables confidently is a great stepping stone for all other maths. Was a good suggestion

Kids are not confident because they believe they cant do something. Let them try stuff at home without other kids knowing what they are doing and this really can help them. A lot of web sites will have games that you can improve your time which also helps confidence.

Play games manually with marbles, sweets, any equipment to practice tables visually so that he fully understands what 5 x 6 really means

maree1 Mon 29-Aug-11 13:31:43

Practice papers for maths - every time. Practice , practice, practice. And fluency with times tables always helps. Ask him to recite them in the car and at other times. Not just the answers - get him to say 1 X 6 is six, 2 X 6 is twelve and so on. It helps with recall.

ProfessionallyOffendedGoblin Mon 29-Aug-11 13:44:24

If he knows 7x6=42, then 42 divided by 7 and 42 divided by 5 and 6x7 are also facts he can derive.
Tables help with short division, area problems, squares and square roots, all sorts of problem solving.

mrz Mon 29-Aug-11 14:01:39

www.andrelleducation.co.uk/BMFreebies/BMBT%20Learn%20Its%20Tests.zip

www.andrelleducation.co.uk/BMFreebies/BMBT%20CLIC%20Tests.zip

itunes.apple.com/gb/album/sing-your-times-tables-with/id201640562

CustardCake Mon 29-Aug-11 14:48:29

I think a routine is very helpful. With my own DS we went through phases of being good and doing an hour a day (which is far too much) for about 2 weeks until clubs / / homework / fun stuff got in the way and then none at all. If you can do 20 minutes of things like tables and fractions and angles and decimals every day ( not all of those on one day!) then it seems to work much better and will sink in better too.

Also many schools stream for maths and again for English so don't worry if DS's grades aren't equally good in all subjects - very few children's are. It isn't the end of the word if he starts in a lower group for maths as long as the school are good about moving children up and down groups as needed.

IndigoBell Mon 29-Aug-11 15:47:15

Yes, but even if he was brilliant at times tables he could still get a L3 in maths. There is a lot more to the syllabus than just arithmetic.....

If he's happy working with you every night I'd want to make sure you were covering the whole syllabus.

I don't know if BBC bit size does that or not.

Personally I like going through workbooks blush as then I can change the pace according to him - ie if he's good at something skip over it, whereas if he doesn't know how to do it spend longer on it and find more ways to explain it / give him more practice on it.

I like these books:

Year 6 Maths Revision L3

Achieve: Maths Practice Questions- Level 4

Because then I can tell what areas he can do and what I need to keep helping him with.

You have a whole year. Doing a page a night should be more than enough....

Good luck

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