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Mixed maths year 6

(11 Posts)
goldie81 Tue 10-Sep-13 21:50:03

Am I wrong to be disappointed that in yr 6 they now are teaching maths in mixed ability. Before they were grouped and so taught appropriately. Dd now seems to be bored for maths lessons as too easy. They were rounding to nearest 10 &100 today. Had word with teacher and said she'd talk to dd today yet she didnt. Don't want dd to be bored for next year with no stimulation.

teacherwith2kids Tue 10-Sep-13 21:59:31

DS and DD have always been taught in mixed ability classes. DS got a Level 6, and DD is well on course for the same - and their school gets MUCH better maths results than another local school with similar intake which sets for maths.

The teacher MUST differentiate. But differentiating can be within the same classroom, it does not have to be through rigid 'maths group' setting.

numbum Tue 10-Sep-13 22:01:16

We've got the same issue here (except DS is in a mixed y3/4 class). They used to stream but have decided this year not to. DS, who is a level 4a/5c in y4 is now in a class with children who are a level 2/3. It's frustrating but I'm holding out and hoping his teacher manages them better once they've been properly assessed. Rounding to the nearest 10 and 100 would drive my y2 DD insane and she's only 'slightly ahead' for maths!

goldie81 Tue 10-Sep-13 22:12:23

I'm not saying it can't be done but feel like the teacher needs to be capable of doing so. But at mo she hasn't. She's familiar with the class as been the opposite class teacher for past 2yrs so taught them split maths etc. I understand is hard work for her but at same time I don't want dd sat there for over half lesson with nothing to do & in her words staring out the window!

applebread Tue 10-Sep-13 22:12:42

My y2 did rounding to 10 and 100 this week. I would be cross too.

teacherwith2kids Tue 10-Sep-13 22:51:35

DD is, as I say, high Level 5, aiming for a Level 6. The lowest child in her class is working at c. low level 2. Mixed classes don't hold children back - in fact many make better progress because of the lack of 'ceiling' - but they do require better teaching, and if teachers are used to teaching in sets then the multi-level differentiation required in mixed ability classes may take a while to develop.

I have gone the opposite way - from a school with p6 [below Level 1] to Level 4 in 1 classroom, to another which stes in an already small spread of ability. My planning is MUCH quicker these days - but I miss the flexibility to accelerate someone who has 'got' something to go and work with the very top group, or to ask a child who is stuck to be supported for soemthing they find hard by working with children who are also finding it hard.

goldie81 Tue 10-Sep-13 22:52:48

Exactly- so not me over reacting! With secondary school next yr I would have thought she needs to be as switched on as poss!!

goldie81 Tue 10-Sep-13 22:56:08

Teacherwith2kids- what do you suggest from my point of view then? Go back in to school or not? Problem is this teacher is renowned for not following up issues etc

teacherwith2kids Tue 10-Sep-13 23:22:48

If this is the result of a change of policy (ie the school has moved to mixed teaching from sets) and you have concerns after speaking to the class teacher, then ask to speak to the Maths co-ordinator. They may well be able to help in terms of pointing out what differentiation is happening / planned, how it's meant to work, following up issues etc.

CeliaFate Wed 11-Sep-13 09:44:44

This has happened in my ds's class too. They did the national numeracy tests in May (we're in Wales) so the teacher is well aware of the difference in ability.
He came home this week and said they'd all been doing the same work.
I've put this down to settling them in and revision of the things they all need to know at this age.
Keep an eye on your dd's work, ask her what she's been doing in Maths and the school should send home an outline of what they'll cover this term.
If there's still no differentiation, then bring it up at parents' evening or request a special meeting with the teacher to explain it.

DeWe Wed 11-Sep-13 09:45:12

The thing is mixed ability teaching can work in maths with a good teacher, but it can fail horribly with a poor one.

I wouldn't worry too much with one lesson of rounding to 10/100, myself. Child may complain they're bored, but sometimes going over things can help them to really remember it. However if it continues at that level, and nothing is changed, I would ask if I could set my own work.

Dd1 (year 8)is top of the top set at a large school and does sometimes complain of being bored, even through the work is diffentiated even within the set. However, what I have noticed is that if she races on with subjects in the way that keeps her interested the whole time, she retains less when she comes back to the subject.

So if say she's done equivalent fractions, when she returns 6 weeks later to do adding fractions, she has to take time to get back into doing the equivalent fractions before she can start looking at common denominators to add them. If she's spent slightly longer on the equivalent fractions (and may well complain of being bored!) then when she comes to adding them, she is totally competent at getting to the common denominator and she actually moves quicker on with adding them.
So being bored at times isn't always a bad thing.

But yesterday instead of doing her homework she taught 6yo ds to do it. She wanted to prove how easy it was to the teacher. It actually was very good for her as she had to explain how to do it and why rather than relying on her intuition.

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