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How to close the gap in maths and literacy ability a little?

(8 Posts)
3MonthMaid Wed 24-Jul-13 14:50:11

My DD recently got her report and I'm really happy with it grin the only concern I have is that her maths was a complete level below her literacy score. I.e 1b and 2b.

I'm not concerned about the actual level as such, but it concerns me a bit that the gap is so wide. Is this normal and does that mean she will always have this kind of difference?

I try to work on maths a little with her at hone, but I'm not really the hot-house type so it gets left a lot if she isn't in the mood.

Any suggestions for things I could do? Maths apps maybe? I haven't discussed scores with anyone in RL so I don't know if its usual to have such a large difference in subject scores!

Runningchick123 Wed 24-Jul-13 15:54:00

How old is she? Children often are at different levels in different subjects because they have their strengths and weaknesses. Is she ahead of the expected level in literacy or behind the expected level in maths?
Bbc bitesize has some good educational games or there are maths specific stuff you can sign up to for a fee such as education city and maths whizz. The benefit of computer based stuff is that you can leave her to get on with it and she can learn in a more fun way and get some IT skills in the process.

crazymum53 Wed 24-Jul-13 15:56:09

You don't say what year group your dd is in but my guess would be Y1 and the level sounds about right. At this stage dcs don't always progress at the same rate in different subjects so I wouldn't worry too much.
The best thing to do at this age would be to play Maths games suitable for her age group and to make Maths fun. e.g. by playing shops and having play money etc. (Don't try anything too difficult though as this may put her off.)
No it may not stay like this. My dd went all through primary school being slightly lower levels in Maths than English but in Year 6 all the levels were the same!

redskyatnight Wed 24-Jul-13 15:58:43

Is she Y1? If so, her maths is spot on "expected" level and her literacy is very good.

I think this is not uncommon - certainly I know a few children that are very good at maths and not so good at English or vice versa.

Also, it's possible that she may not have covered so much of the maths curriculum (assuming this is Y1) and will catch up naturally next year.

(DS had 1b in writing in Y1 and 2b in reading - I know not the same scenario, but I think differences are not uncommon!)

iseenodust Wed 24-Jul-13 16:01:20

Don't do learning, do fun. Snakes & ladders, junior monopoly, Moshi Monsters top trumps (£2.99 on Amazon) and Shut the box are all good games involving numbers.

itsnothingoriginal Wed 24-Jul-13 20:46:13

Both my kids have a big gap between literacy and maths ability. Do you feel there is any particular issue with maths or perhaps more of a confidence thing? Mathletics is good if your school uses it and agree with the others about top trumps and games to help. The M&S maths workbooks are NC linked and great if you can get her to do them!

With my DS the gap is getting smaller but he's just finished yr 4 and has a 4a in literacy and a 2a in maths shock

Elibean Wed 24-Jul-13 21:09:09

I think its very normal for there to be gaps at this age - they've barely begun their learning journey!

dd1 had much higher levels in Y1 and Y2 for literacy than for maths. Similar to your dd, OP.

In Y4, she is level 4s on all subjects, and just won the KS2 prize for maths. She loathed it for years, and now says its her favourite subject. Her wise and experienced teacher says that maths sometimes 'clicks' at a certain age, much like reading but usually older. Especially (huge generalization) for girls.

PastSellByDate Thu 25-Jul-13 13:04:09

Hi 3MonthMaid:

It's a bit difficult to give advice without understanding what year your DD is in.

If this is Class R - she's obviously doing very well - and probably you can continue as you are.

If this is Class 1 - she's on track - but you might want to think through games (card games/ board games) or on-line games that will reinforce maths skills and provide practice (because that's where the real facility with adding/ subtracting/ multiplying/ dividing comes from).

If this is Class 2 - then 1a is below the expected NC Level 2 (but only just below). This was where my DD1 was the end of Y2. We knew there were problems - she couldn't take 1 from 10.

Our solutions: we knew DD1 wasn't 'getting it' and needed both practice but clear explanation so we joined her up on an on-line maths tutorial. There are many out there now and my advice is to have a look at the websites and really think through what it is you feel your DD needs.

We joined mathsfactor: www.themathsfactor.com/ - there are summer camps already on now which you can do at home as and when for a one-off fee or you can just go ahead and sign up (paying monthly). We found the slow & steady pace suited our DD but others have complained it's too slow/ repetitive - it really does depend on the child.

Others have recommended:

Komodo Maths: komodomath.com/
Maths Whiz: www.whizz.com/
Mathletics: www.mathletics.co.uk/

My advice would be to have a look at the websites - most have demonstrations/ free lessons to view/ etc... and I think they all offer free trials.

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GAMES:

BLACK JACK/ 21
It seems odd but playing blackjack (21) is brilliant for adding skills with numbers over 10. We play it open handed so that our DDs can see our cards and add with us. Once your DC gets good - you can have them do all the adding and advise on whether you risk picking another card to get 21.

RULES: Ace = 1, jack/ queen/ king = 10 and number cards are as advertised. Deal two cards to each player (face up) and put the pile of cards face down in the middle. Have each player add up their cards [later you can modify by asking DC to check your addition]. Then decide whether the pick a card or not to make your number closer to 21. Winner gets all cards & to spice it up you can play for sweets/ biscuits/ etc... The one with the most cards (after 30 minutes or at the end of the deck) wins.

SNAKES & LADDERS
You know the old classic - but move from counting on and spice it up by having them do the addition in their head - no counting up. So 14 + 4 = ????

You can work on subtractiong by playing the game backwards. Again start by counting back and then gradually have them do it in their head.

When that gets too easy - add a second dice & have them add/ subtract up to 12.

Also good for multiplication (1-6) for one dice & (7 - 12) for the other - you may need to play the game up and down the board (we settled on 3 times) - because the numbers can get very big (e.g. 12 x 12 = 144).

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Useful websites:

Oxford Owl (this is intended for Early years - so may be too young): www.oxfordowl.co.uk/Maths/

BBC Bitesize KS1 Maths: www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks1/maths/

If your school belongs to Education City or My Maths and your child has a password these work over the summer - there are all sorts of games on either of those, which are really useful practice to help build skills & speed.

My favourite school website is the Woodland Junior School Maths Zone: resources.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/maths/ - just search out what area you want to work on and then click - that links you to all sorts of on-line games to help with practice. You may need to try these out first - to establish if they're too hard, because you don't want them discouraged.

Mumsnet has a link to Mathschamp on their Learning Pages: these are video games for maths practice based on ages 5 - 7/ 7 - 9/ 9 - 11. My DDs really enjoy these: www.mathschamps.co.uk/#home

When you're ready for multiplication - Table Trees is a very gentle practice site: www.amblesideprimary.com/ambleweb/mentalmaths/tabletrees.html

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Useful worksheet websites:

Primary resources Maths: Just click area and these usually are clearly labelled by KS1/ KS2 year: www.primaryresources.co.uk/maths/maths.htm

Math Drills: Hundreds of worksheets - just select the category & explore: www.math-drills.com/index2.shtml

Worksheet Works (this is still BETA or under design - but has some great stuff & you can control difficulty & number of problems whilst designing your individual worksheets): www.worksheetworks.com/math.html

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APPS

I fear DD1 missed the boat on a lot of this but there seems to be all sorts of useful apps popping up:

Some top tens include:

PC ADVISORS' List: www.pcadvisor.co.uk/features/software/3380559/best-maths-apps-for-children/

Common Sense Media (US website) - need to select for age here so look for age ranges at top of list: www.commonsensemedia.org/mobile-app-lists/math-apps-and-learning-tools-for-kids

Guardian/ Observer list (under education): www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/aug/04/50-best-apps-chidren-smartphones-tablets

but there are new ones nearly every day - so ask around, buy a magazine, etc...

HTH

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