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Y2 maths homework not sure if ds being cheeky or clever

(27 Posts)
HeavyBoots Sat 22-Sep-12 21:48:17

Ds had homework of "write as many add sums as you can with the answer 25, e.g 24+1, 23+2"

Ds wrote:

1. Choose any number.
2. Do 25 - that number.
3. Add the number again.
The answer is always 25.

The next part of the homework was to do the same for 36 and 45.

He wrote: if you want to do different sums it will work too.

He hasn't actually written out any sums but in his view he's done the homework. Should I get him to write some sums out or do you think the teacher will be ok with the fact he's come up with a generalized solution?

Theas18 Sat 22-Sep-12 21:52:03

Dh teaches year 3 and, he'd give him the marks for that!

There Matt be pedantic jobsworths that wouldn't but I would hand that in.

MilkRunningOutAgain Sat 22-Sep-12 21:53:49

It's clever but that type of answer has made my DS one of the least favourite pupils in his year, on a serial basis. I'd get him to put in the effort and write out the sums, if he's that clever it will only take him 10 minutes.

Finbert Sat 22-Sep-12 21:55:37

Can he explain why it works with the other numbers-that would make sure the teacher knew he had understood to the extent he seems to without trying out on paper?

MaryMotherOfCheeses Sat 22-Sep-12 21:56:39

Well there are only going to be 25 sums to do. If he's that clever, it'll take him less than 2 minutes.

I would insist that he demonstrates his theory.

HeavyBoots Sat 22-Sep-12 22:01:48

mary Ds mentioned that his teacher had given him infinite maths homework and that may have been his point, because he would be sitting there writing -1025+1050 is 25 and 24 and 1/4 + 3/4 etc

meditrina Sat 22-Sep-12 22:08:21

Does it specify that they can only use numbers up to 25? And that they can only add and subtract?

HeavyBoots Sat 22-Sep-12 22:18:04

It doesn't specify whole numbers or things up to 25. It does say "add sums" but Ds is happy adding negative numbers so that doesn't make much of a difference. Perhaps the teacher just wanted to see what the kids would do. On reflection It's better he hands this in than if he'd showed off and done 25 - pi + pi and one googolplex and twenty five plus a negative googolplex etc.

OhYouBadBadKitten Sat 22-Sep-12 22:25:09

I actually personally wouldn't care what the teacher thought, it demonstrates that he has an innate understanding of what he is doing and he needs something more challenging.

juniper904 Sun 23-Sep-12 01:02:47

For level 3 (using the APP grids), a child should show a systematic approach to solving a problem.

I quote:

begin to organise their work and check results, e.g.
– begin to develop own ways of recording
– develop an organised approach as they get into recording their work on a problem
· discuss their mathematical work and begin to explain their thinking, e.g.
– use appropriate mathematical vocabulary
-talk about their findings by referring to their written work

He may know all the bonds to 25, but can he show them in an order than ensures he doesn't miss any out?

sashh Sun 23-Sep-12 02:54:43

How old is he?

I'd be tempted to get him to write a program that asks for any number and then creates the sum.

If I had that handed in I'd give it an A grade.

snowball3 Sun 23-Sep-12 10:37:38

Any teacher that writes "add sums" deserves all they getgrin

HeavyBoots Sun 23-Sep-12 17:45:17

I told Ds to do some sums for each number just to show his teacher he can. He chose I squared + 37 is 36, among others. If his teacher hadn't already realised he was an incorrigible show-off she will now. And maybe he'll get some more challenging work this year.

juniper904 Sun 23-Sep-12 17:51:09

Does he understand negative numbers?

Maybe that's the next step.

Tbh, I would always question the parents' involvement in homework, so a fantastic set of maths 'sums' would not necessarily impress me as much as it should. Some parents are VERY competitive. We had a situation in our school last year where the children had to complete a project, and most of the kids didn't even recognise their own 'work' when it was submitted!

HeavyBoots Sun 23-Sep-12 18:09:35

He's fine with negative numbers for addition and subtraction but would trip up on multiplication probably. He knows there are imaginary numbers and about the square root of -1. He's just a very inquisitive (never shuts up) 6yo.

LadySybildeChocolate Sun 23-Sep-12 18:12:07

A lot of teachers wouldn't appreciate his answer sad Ds once took 'air' to show and tell. His teacher wasn't happy.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 23-Sep-12 18:15:05

I'd be putting it to him as demonstrating his answer.

And possibly writing it as:

Where 25 - x = y

x + y = 25


HeavyBoots Sun 23-Sep-12 18:23:45

He may be smart, but I'm not teaching him algebra for a while yet... smile

The correct answer to his homework, is to state: the set consisting of all "add sums making 25" is (for all x in C l "x + 25-x"). He might understand when he's in Y13.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 23-Sep-12 18:41:11

DH once taught DS how to solve simultaneous equations so he could do his year 4 homework. He couldn't see any other way to do it. Needless to say, there was one. He left him alone after that.

SandStorm Sun 23-Sep-12 18:45:54

The problem is that although he's got the theory and could put it into practice, he hasn't actually demonstrated that he can follow instructions. He's ignored the actual question and gone off and done his own (related) thing.

DeWe Sun 23-Sep-12 18:49:14

I think at that age if they're interested they're very receptive to algebra.
Certainly all mine have had sums where it goes 3 + _ = 5 I rewrote them as 3 + x = 5 and they worked out very quickly simple algebra.

I'd suspect a vast majority of primary school teachers wouldn't know i (or j - that's what engineers use I think) as the imaginary number, so I suspect you might need to prepare him for the teacher marking that wrong and potentially telling him not to be silly/imaginative etc.

numbum Sun 23-Sep-12 20:26:17

I think it's clever but bordering on cocky! I think he needs to write down some examples

anice Sun 23-Sep-12 22:22:55

i FEEL SORRY FOR HIM! Imagine what he's got years of before he gets work that challenges him (and I doubt that there are few primary teachers who will know about i so if he does submit that, you might be advised to print something off from an official source that explains it (in an non-patronising way).

He still likely to get an answer though that says but you haven't provided evidence that you can do this work.

DS is good at maths too (but not that good). He's in year 4 now, His homework this weekend is to add in 2s again. Apparently they are going to re-do the times tables again this year. Last year, he got 100% in every weekly test and was doing the 18x table towards the end. It doesn't matter, he just has to keep redoing the same old thing until the least able child i the class has absolutely got it.

singersgirl Sun 23-Sep-12 22:58:38

It's such a badly worded question, so I think your son should be applauded by his teacher for understanding the maths behind it. "As many as he can" - over what period of time? He could carry on writing sums for the whole of his life and never have exhausted the possibilities.

I remember my son getting a question that asked something like: "How many times can you take 9 away from 81?" Like your son, he spotted that the answer was 'an infinite number of times'.

Pythonesque Mon 24-Sep-12 05:59:21

Agree, an astute teacher would see from that answer that your son is well ahead in understanding the mathematical concepts. Sadly you will be lucky if your son has that teacher, at primary level (? any level) they are not common. My experience so far is that practical arithmetic is not being taken far enough soon enough in favour of activities designed to develop conceptual understanding. I don't have anything against the latter - but as soon as a child "gets it" they need to be shown the next step, eg how to add 2 and 3 digit numbers in columns, and not held back.

My daughter knew her times tables properly at the end of year 2, as did most of her maths "set". She had a good conceptual understanding of division. Year 3 - more times tables. Year 4 - more times tables, and division but not beyond the tables and not usually with remainders. Eventually about half the top set were shown properly how to multiply but only briefly and mainly because the teacher suddenly realised many parents had done it in the holidays in desperation. By this point my daughter was getting muddled about division, mainly because she tried to make it more complicated than it should be (can't be easy, or why would it have been left so long to do it at school?).

Your son reminds me of myself at that age, mathematically (though I don't think my parents told me about i smile ). The one thing I am glad I got at primary school was loads of practice at arithmetic. Your son may well not get that at school, so I would encourage you to give him more at home. Fluency with numbers is the greatest gift you can give him to support his mathematical development when he is older. And nothing wrong with moving on to algebra. Talk to the school as soon as you can and see what they are able or willing to do to stop him becoming bored and a menace smile And enjoy!!

You might like to look at "mathletics" online (schools can subscribe to it, so something to ask about or suggest, or else do at home). There are also various sources of problems to solve. I hope your son can fly with his ability smile

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