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Dd2 has been hyperventilating over her maths sats...and she's only in yr5!

(7 Posts)
17leftfeet Thu 03-Apr-14 21:56:53

She did a maths test at school today and only got half marks and is devastated

She says she got some of the questions right but the teacher marked them wrong because she used a number line rather than column subtraction and chunking I'm not sure how true that is

But what the hell do I do to stop her stressing?
She's my 2nd one through the school and I don't think they make a big deal about sats but she obviously does

It's completely knocked her confidence and I think her teacher would be upset to know how upset dd has been tonight

Any clues how I can build her confidence?

Last week at parents evening I was told she's progressing as expected which should mean she's 4a at the end of yr5 so she's not rubbish, just thinks she is

columngollum Thu 03-Apr-14 22:16:19

Since sats are the school/teacher's problem and not yours, I'd just tell the teacher what a wreck she's made of your daughter and leave her to fix the problem.

17leftfeet Fri 04-Apr-14 06:54:35

I will be talking to the teacher but I don't think lack of confidence is something that can be solved by a teacher in one lesson and they break up today

I don't want her to spend the holidays feeling rubbish

PastSellByDate Fri 04-Apr-14 11:15:17

She did a maths test at school today and only got half marks and is devastated

FIRST OFF - EXPLAIN TO HER THAT SHE SAT A L3 TO L5 MATHS SATS. L5 to L6 IS THE EXPECTED LEVEL OF PERFORMANCE FOR CHILDREN AT THE END OF Y9 IN SENIOR SCHOOL.

Only about 45% of all primary students in England achieve NC L5 in maths at KS2 SATs: source The Guardian (scroll down to tables at bottom of this article): www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2013/sep/19/sats-results-key-stage-two

Without knowing which test she took it's difficult to know whether her score = NC L4 or not - but answering about half the questions correctly should be about NC L4.

For example in 2012 the thresholds were: https://orderline.education.gov.uk/gempdf/1783150653/STA-13-6932%20-%202012%20Level%20threshold%20tables%20for%20the%203-5%20and%20level%206%20English%20and%20mathematics%20tests.pdf

Now what I don't know is whether your DC took Part A/ Part B and the mental maths test or just one of these.

----------------------

She says she got some of the questions right but the teacher marked them wrong because she used a number line rather than column subtraction and chunking I'm not sure how true that is

NO CLUE ON THIS - AS FAR AS I UNDERSTOOD SATs ARE GRADED BY THE ANSWER NOT HOW YOU CALCULATE IT. SO YOU CAN USE COLUMN METHOD/ GRID METHOD/ YOUR FINGERS & TOES - AS LONG AS YOU GET THE ANSWER RIGHT. TRUST ME - COME THE TIME YOUR DC'S SCHOOL WILL JUST WANT THE ANSWER RIGHT AND WON'T WORRY ABOUT HOW YOUR DC CALCULATED IT.

PERHAPS WHAT THE TEACHER MEANT IS THAT YOUR DC LOST TIME FROM USING THE NUMBER LINE AND NOT FASTER METHODS OF CALCULATION. (Not meaning to upset you - but by Year 5 she really should be able to add/ subtract making jumps mentally - so perhaps this is a real area of weakness - you can help by playing 21/ blackjack - which helps build those adding skills - or by playing snap.

With snap use a normal deck - but Ace = 1 and Jack = 10/ Queen = 20 and King = 30. Think of any number to 100 (let your DC chose if you like). Write this down on a post-it and shuffle deck and place entire deck face down next to post-it.

Addition version: Flip card - say it is an 8. 8 + ? = 39. First to shout 31 gets the card.

Subtraction version: Flip card - again say it is a 8. 39 - 8 = ?.

When she's good at that you can flip 2 cards for target numbers >30.

So again say it's 39. Flip 8 and 4. 12 + ? = 39 - answer 27.

First to get answer right in any version keeps the card. Winner is the one with most cards.

Any clues how I can build her confidence?

YES.

1) She is only 2/3rds the way through year 5 and has an entire year to go before Y6 KS2 SATs - there's a lot of learning time there.

2) If speed is the issue (and strengthening mental calculation skills) encourage her to play more maths video games (it's practise but won't feel like it to her) and these links are all free:

Woodlands Junior School Maths zone: resources.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/maths/

Math Champs: www.mathschamps.co.uk/#home

Multiplication dot com: www.multiplication.com/games

Have her play for 10 - 15 minutes whilst you make dinner or are getting ready to go to school in the morning. Perhaps not every day - but maybe in the week. You'll be surprised what a difference it will make and cumulatively all that practice will add up to her being very confident in her calculation skills and make test situations less upsetting.

HTH

17leftfeet Fri 04-Apr-14 11:54:01

I spoke to the teacher this morning and she was shocked she was upset as she'd actually done really well

She scored 30/40 on the other paper that they did -not 20 so no idea where that came from because last night she was adamant that was her score

She can do chunking & column methods but panics in tests so reverts back to what she's more comfortable with which is the line method

English is her 'thing' and she beats herself up about not doing as well in maths which has been an ongoing issue since yr1
She's capable but doesn't believe she is

The teacher was really good and is going to have a chat with her at break before they go into maths and she has said she will ring me at lunch time

The thing that I'm worried about is not her score, even if it was 20, my expectation is she tries her best, it's her reaction to her perceived failure

17leftfeet Fri 04-Apr-14 11:56:47

She plays on mathletics (reluctantly) but I will have a look at those links, thank you smile

PastSellByDate Fri 04-Apr-14 12:49:15

DD1 was much younger (Y2) when she had confidence issues but our secret to cracking those was to make maths a game and a challenging problem more of a puzzle to solve and enjoy the process of attempting to solve (success or not).

I don't use mathletics myself, but from what I understand there is a very competitive element to it and that may be part of the reason your DD feels underconfident - she's too aware other children are better.

On one hand - it's no bad thing - you don't want her overly confident - but on the other it can be a bit disheartening if there's always someone out there who finishes first, scores higher, etc...

The links I've given you are all games she can play herself and challenge herself to beat her own scores next time round. In this way, she can see the improvement, but isn't pipped at the post by somebody else.

HTH

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