# Talk

## Any teachers out there - a quick question about Maths.

(21 Posts)
April1st Sun 03-Feb-13 10:12:23

I did worry about confusing my dc1 by teaching dc the old methods (the only one) that I know. So I didn’t do much about helping dc maths. But dc was still struggling well into year 4 and still didn’t know all the timestable and didn’t see the point in mastering the timestable either. So I had a very useful long meeting with dc’s teacher. She showed me some maths questions used in school and she said it is fine to teach dc a range of ways to do calculation. So I bought a couple of maths books and worked through the books with dc with the way I know. I also managed to help dc master the timestable up to 12X in 4 days. Now dc finds maths a lot easier and more fun. The teacher in dc's school is very pleased with progression.

JumpingJetFlash Fri 01-Feb-13 16:50:25

No because you're just reinforcing the issue with not understanding place value by cutting it out IMO. It also gives a false sense of what she can do if she takes short cuts without understanding.

What I would do is take it back to using concrete place value equipment to support the question and partitioning to make the value of each part clear - the school should be able to help you with this.

Fri 01-Feb-13 15:09:13

I'm going to hijack a bit - teachers - if you have a child who has major maths difficulties and by age 10 STILL cannot grasp place value in order to understand the exchange method - could you teach them "1 to the top, 1 to teh bottom" so they at least start to move on a bit?? (just wondering - I don't think dd is ever going to get it)

Startail Fri 01-Feb-13 14:53:56

Not what DH, DDs or anyone outside my very rural school do.

Startail Fri 01-Feb-13 14:52:46

DD1 has trained all her maths teachers to accept that she will not use the grid method for long multiplication.

She'll do the first question that way and the rest the old way.

She hates it, too much writing out and drawing stupid squares.

Trouble is, bad mummy taught her how to do long multiplication before they did it in school.

I don't teach anyone to do subtraction as I was taught a very strange method, which it's what DH or the DDs do.

trinity0097 Fri 01-Feb-13 14:44:23

I would stick with the way the school does. I am a Head of Maths in a Prep school, and our year 3s use an expanded method which when they have the hang of it leads to the traditional method, but the method gives the understanding of what happens.

Why not try asking the school if they could do a parental workshop for parents to learn how the school teaches calculations? I do these for parents and find them really useful so that the parents can help their children at home without confusing them with two different methods. Normally when parents off school age children now were at school they learnt methods without any understanding of what was happening, schools now try to teach understanding of techniques so that the children understand why they are doing what they are doing.

April1st Fri 01-Feb-13 09:59:33

I am not a teacher but I help my dc using the old way that I know. But once dc understood how to get the right answers in one method then after a while dc can see the logic in different method/s as well.

sparrowfart Thu 31-Jan-13 23:23:02

The teacher is probably teaching a method either to give your child a variety of strategies to choose from when he is secure with what he is doing, or is showing a method that will consolidate/aid understanding of short formal methods. You should help him to understand what he has been asked to do, or speak to the teacher to explain further if he doesn't understand. It is about laying the foundation stones of understanding so that when he moves to the type of working you are describing, he understands what he is doing and why.

teacherwith2kids Thu 31-Jan-13 19:29:56

I have just taken on a group who have been taught the 'recipe' of the 'standard methods' for carrying out e.g. addition, subtraction etc.

They can (just about) follow the recipe.

They have no idea whatever about what is actually happening. I have just taken them right back to basics - ordering numbers on a number line, describing place value, partitioning numbers in different ways - as unless that foundation is secure, any forward steps that they 'appear' to make are fairly meaningless [none of them had any understanding at all of the importance of adding the units first in 'classic' column addition, for example... 547 + 124 became 6611 and they had no idea at all that this was obviously incorrect because they had no idea of the relative size of numbers].

They have been rushed through to the 'final destination' without any of the fundanemtal understanding obtained from 'doing the journey'

In this case, OP, I would annotate the piece of work: X cannot confidently use the method that you taught him and thus could not use it to do this homework. We worked on them together and I showed him my method. Then at least the teacher knows that he doesn't know the method she has taught, and can deal with the issue as she / he sees fit.

JumpingJetFlash Thu 31-Jan-13 17:56:14

It's not ideal that you didn't help him understand the method he was being taught at school but its done now - it's also not borrowing it's exchanging as you've exchanged 80 and 2 to 70 and 12. Are you sure that you son UNDERSTANDS the place value of what he's doing rather than just being able to do the method? Does he use the correct vocabulary when explaining ie either 70 - 30 or 7 tens - 3 tens rather than 7-3 in 75-34?

sneeders Thu 31-Jan-13 13:12:52

In a way it depends on what the teacher was teaching at that time, she may have actually been teaching that method rather than teaching subtraction, in order to go on to teach other methods which expose the different ways relationships in number work. The maths curriculum does cover some methods we weren't taught which when learnt well give a better understanding overall of number than most of us ended up with, using rote methodology we didn't understand. If she is worth her salt, however, and not just following a curriculum she doesn't understand, she will be able to make links between chunking and borrowing.

Wed 30-Jan-13 18:24:29

I taught my DS long Division "my way" and his teacher was fine. They used to be shown a few ways of tackling new topics, have to show workings in all different ways, then choose which method they wanted to stick with.

(I still cannot do Grid Multiplication!)

solidfoundation Wed 30-Jan-13 18:15:23

I think any valid method if fine, but it's not 'borrowing' you are doing, it'd 'taking' as you never put it back

julienetmum Wed 14-Jun-06 13:50:05

I remember my mum showing me a method of working out compound interest.

I told my maths teacher who promptly had her in to explain it to him as he could never get it right.

I think the main thing is that when they get older and do more complicated maths they show their workings out. That way they get credit for knowing the methods even if the final answer is wrong.

swedishmum Tue 13-Jun-06 23:29:02

Doing subtraction by any method other than decomposition is a punishable offence in our village - an hour in the stocks at least!

Tue 13-Jun-06 19:46:05

<<CHEEKY WAVE>> Hi Honor! How are you?

Tue 13-Jun-06 19:40:03

As long as he understands why he is borrowing then that would be fine by me (I also teach yr 3!)

Tue 13-Jun-06 19:33:14

I don't normally care hat method they use. So long as they can remember it and it always works. Some children just don't 'get' one method - giving them an option is a good idea. Once they have a method that works for them, I'd tend to leave them with that and not confuse them with lots of new methods just for the sake of it.

Mon 12-Jun-06 12:23:04

Thank you - perhaps I should mention this to his teacher next time I see her to see how she feels about this?

Mon 12-Jun-06 11:59:11

As a secondary maths teacher I encourage a range of different methods as every child learns differently. It doesn't bother me at all if a student uses a different method (as long as it is correct!) and it's good to know that parents get involved and take an interest.

I can understand that at primary level it might cause more of a difficulty in the class situation but I would hope that the teacher would be able to accomodate.

Mon 12-Jun-06 11:35:34

My ds is in Yr 3, he had a Maths Sheet home the other day, which was all subtractions. He was struggling a little bit, and I asked him to show me. He had been taught a method at school, which he found hard to follow, so I taught him the way I knew from school, which was to 'borrow' one from the next column. He found it much easier and sailed through the rest of the sums. However, my dh was a bit cross with me and said he should stick to the way the school taught him, whereas I am of the opinion, if you get the right answer, what does it matter how you got there!! What do you think? Was I a bit naughtt?!

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