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Maths in year 2

(14 Posts)
diplodocus Mon 19-Nov-12 10:46:57

DD is 7 and in year 2. When she started year 1 she struggled quite a bit with maths, and the teacher was concerned she wasn't reaching her potential. Nothing much was suggested except for us to practice things at home (which we did). Her end of year report was a bit mediocre, and our concerned response led to a meeting with the head at her instigation(very small school). At the next parent's evening we were told she had made great progress, and was expected to reach 2b (which is fine - I don't think maths will ever be her thing). However, I still have concerns - she could always work better at home than at school, and I think the improvement the teachers have seen is because that difference has decreased. At home I've seen little improvement. She still seems to find manipulating numbers difficult - she understands the concept, but, for instance if you ask her to subtract 9 from 24 she will still use her fingers.
She is also incredibly patchy - sometimes you feel things have clicked, and then other times she'll struggle with something really basic like 18-10. Addition is generally much better than subtraction. She still also seems to mix up, for instance, 13 and 30 in verbal maths and will often ask"is that one three or three zero?"- she's fine if it's written down.
Any thoughts of how I can help her wld be great. I can't help feel that her "great improvement" is a bit to do with the fact we were asking what the school was going to do about it rather than a genuine increase in understanding.

DeWe Mon 19-Nov-12 11:36:56

I think it's typical for children to perform better at home than school. It may be that they've done some one-to-one stuff which has lead to her performing at school more in line with her home performance.

Has she perhaps hearing issues? It's not uncommon for 13 and 30 to be mixed up in hearing-in fact yesterday I heard a young lady on a till ask if it was "0ne-five, or five-zero" for cashback.

Counting on fingers at that age is fine. My dd's were good at maths and certainly dd2 was still counting on her fingers in year 3. I think she doesn't now in year 4.

If you want to help her, then you can either look for things at home. "I've weighed 8 oz and need another 6 oz, how many will that be altogether" or money is a good one.

If she enjoys it, you can do worksheets. So you have a whole page of sums taking away 10 (or whole numbers of 10). Some dc like that (you can do a reward at the end) but I don't think pushing it is going to get anything other than hating maths if she doesn't want to.

There's also computer games. BBC has some maths games and my dc quite like
It's got a lot of games with simple addition. Very addictive even!

learnandsay Mon 19-Nov-12 11:46:39

I'd search the Internet for free maths games. My daughter loves Test the Toad. I have a Melissa & Doug abacus for her to do her sums on. Some of the games out there are really funny and she loves them.

diplodocus Mon 19-Nov-12 12:23:52

Thanks learnandsay. Have had her hearing tested recently partly because of this, and it's fine. Interesting and reassuring that it's still OK to use fingers - I presumed she should be using other strategies by now. She likes online games so thanks for the links.

blanksquit Mon 19-Nov-12 13:12:54

My year 2 dd is much the same in terms of inconsistency. Sometimes she seems to know things like 24 + 35, or 3 x 4 then other times she can't add 6 + 4 and is laboriously working it out on her fingers. Taking things away is always difficult for her. I'm thinking possibly we're expecting a bit too much in some ways - I keep expecting her to get things 100% right when it perhaps isn't as usual as I think at this age.

When I was looking (out of interest) at past Sats papers there did seem to be an allowance for this in some way - if they knew how to do the sum but not what the answer was, they'd get some credit.

I think really it's just practice and lots of it and eventually things will start to click.

I have been collecting up links over the past few months in a bid to improve things, although I haven't used any of them as yet. The Woodlands School one looks quite good as you can generate worksheets on what they're having trouble with.

Mathletics, Maths whizz and Mathsfactor
(lists bitesize worksheets on money etc)

zingally Mon 19-Nov-12 13:20:41

if you ask her to subtract 9 from 24 she will still use her fingers.

So would I! And I'm a university graduate and a primary school teacher! Nothing wrong with that as a technique! Some people just have a natural aptitude for numbers, and some people don't (I'm firmly in the "don't" category).

plainjayne123 Mon 19-Nov-12 13:42:18

sounds as though she is doing just fine. My daughter is in yr 2 and at school they haven't actually taught mental methods for sums like 24-9 yet, they are number bonds until xmas, then apparently they do something called bridging (24-4 then 20-5), so don't worry, and go at her pace

diplodocus Mon 19-Nov-12 14:00:42

Thanks very much everyone - am feeling very reassured. I think it's partly she's in a class where there are a number of children who are very good at maths, and also her younger sister has a very strong aptitude (don't know where she gets if from!)so her lack of "feel" for numbers seems more marked. Will try and find some ways of doing practice that she enjoys.

PastSellByDate Mon 19-Nov-12 15:15:16

Hi diplodocus

DD1 seriously struggled in Y1 & Y2 with maths. She just didn't get it.

We found on-line tutorials a real help - 1) it meant that I could delegate the teaching time to somebody else, but 2) it was clear that DD1 responded much better to visual learnign methods that aural (hearing someone explain it) ones.

We stumbled on Mathsfactor and have never looked back. It's good old fashioned building blocks - learning slowly & steadily and gradually and cumulatively building confidence. It has absolutely changed everything for the better and I seriously couldn't recommend it highly enough.

They're offering a winter club - so you could try it out for a few months and then decide - info here:

Others here on MN have suggested



Maths Whizz:

All of these offer free trials - so you really have nothing to lose.

We found that 5 days a week for 20 - 30 minutes just made all the difference in the world. Bear in mind our context was little or no homework in mathematics whatsoever. So we were also seeking opporunities at practice to consolodate learning and exercise skills.

Anyway - agree with much that blacksuit had to say.

but would also recommend BBC Learning just select KS1 and mathematics in orange box at centre left

and don't forget BBC Bitesize KS1 practice resources for SATs - - lots of great maths practice there & can set ability level as well.


MilkRunningOutAgain Mon 19-Nov-12 18:51:37

My dd is just the same with maths but regular practice at home is helping. She's yr 2 and is a long way off from doing maths mentally, apart from 1 more and 1 less.

I just write down 5 or 10 sums for her to do most evenings. Luckily she seems to like this basic approach. Tonight we did adding on 10 using a hundred square. Then we did adding on 20 or 30 or 40.

Lots of work on partitioning and knowing about tens and units has also helped a lot.

I find it frustrating, I like numbers.

strictlovingmum Mon 19-Nov-12 20:21:18

When faced with question such as 24-9, help her work it out first as 24-10 it is much easier that way, by rounding it up to nearest ten she will get concept better, and of course there is nothing wrong with using her fingers to count up the difference up or down between 24 and 9.
Rounding will also help with addition and subtraction of bigger numbers;
and so on.
Only insist on instant recall up to 10 and 20 any bigger then that IMO children will have to be shown strategies in how to reliably add and take away.
Insist on rounding up, five to ten minutes every day makes all the difference and in no time she will be able to add and subtract any two numbers smile

ccarpenton Mon 19-Nov-12 20:27:24

We live in an age of fantastic educational aids. Nearly everyone I know has a smartphone or tablet now. There are loads of helpful games on there to improve skills. Many free.

Best one I've found is "Pickles Maths for Kids" as it is for older kids to actually practice addition/subtraction. Not just a numbers game.

It only goes up to 20 though, but for your 7-year-old, it may just help her gain confidence in the relationship with numbers. e.g. when someone asks us what's 2 + 2, or 20 + 4 is, we don't even have to think about it. Those are kind of embedded from years of usage. We "get" it.

I bought the full version, but there is a free version I think? (Android and iTunes.)

ccarpenton Mon 19-Nov-12 20:29:52

I found the free one on iTunes:

says you get 40 levels of play with the free version. There are 180 in the full version.

diplodocus Mon 19-Nov-12 21:08:31

Thanks for all the ideas - much appreaciated. the pickles sounds good but unfortunately I have neigther a smartphone or tablet (luddite emoticon!). Will certainly try doing some rounding with her.

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