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Maths Homework

(15 Posts)
MathsTrack Fri 07-Nov-14 17:12:16

I have name changed so as not to give anything away.

This is DD's maths homework for this week. What year group do you think it is suitable for?

345 72
756 29

(there are 8 pairs of 3 digit and 2 digit numbers)

1. Using one of the following methods: partitioning, number line or vertical addition - add each pairs of numbers

2. By putting the numbers on a number line, subtract the smaller number from the larger number, within each pair.

(I have paraphrased the questions, there is a lot more explanation of the methods)

Ruth10 Fri 07-Nov-14 17:26:57

It depends on whether your child is high achieving, low achieving or in the middle. Homework is usually matched on the child's ability. I'd say anywhere from bright year 3 child up to y5.

grassroots Fri 07-Nov-14 17:28:44

Agree with Ruth but would say Yr 2 upwards.

LizzieMint Fri 07-Nov-14 17:29:46

I'd say year 3 upwards too

FelixTitling Fri 07-Nov-14 17:31:13

The fact that it mentions number lines makes me think yr 2, but a high achieving child/group.

Snapespotions Fri 07-Nov-14 17:32:58

My first thought was year 2

Elmersnewfriend Fri 07-Nov-14 17:34:41

I think it's the sort of thing my DS is currently doing, so year 3

MathsTrack Fri 07-Nov-14 17:42:41

Thanks everyone. You have confirmed what I suspected.

DD is what I would call a bright Year 4 (by which I mean top end of ability range, but not genius material!). She reckons the homework is far too easy (as do I as I'm sure she brought something similar home in Year 2- other than the vertical addition, which she's learnt more recently). I should also say that this is the third week running (discounting half term) that she's had to add and subtract 2 and 3 digit numbers - there is only so much consolidating you can do, surely?

I want to go in and moan at the teacher that DD - and presumably the other brighter children - is just not being challenged (DD says the work is the same as in class so she is well and truly bored with it) but wanted to check I wasn't being extremely unreasonable!!

PastSellByDate Sat 08-Nov-14 08:27:05

I don't think it's advisable to 'moan to the teacher' - but you are correct in thinking if this isn't challenging your DC there's a problem. (I say this from bitter past experience - & lessons learned)

I think the first question to ask the teacher (rather than the 'too easy' issue) - is did the entire class get this same homework?

That was definitley the problem at DD1's primary (she's now Y7 in senior school) - so perhaps rather than criticise the teacher's homework in terms of your DC - why not suggest that there needs to be differentiated homework (possibly working the same concept) for higher ability maths pupils.

That battle is worth fighting - isn't just about your child - and I suspect is in fact best practice.

If the 'line' becomes differentiating homework is too time consuming - then I think you need to be suggesting that the school explores on-line maths homework options (which are marked automatically and report feedback/ track pupil's progress for the teacher - all the teacher needs to do is assign work of appropriate difficult to particular groups). So she could in fact work on addition concepts at national curriculum ability levels 3 - 4 - 5 in year 4 (on My Maths for example).

Finally - one thing that I really struggle to understand is why schools are frightened to suggest children play free maths video games for practice. It reinforces skills and improves speed. OK it may not be easily tracked - but all you have to do is explain to children how they can screen capture their score and they can print it out or e-mail it to the teacher. There are some great video games out there that work these concepts and don't involve any work at all for the teacher.


spanieleyes Sat 08-Nov-14 08:40:56

Differentiating homework isn't difficult though ( or shouldn't be!) My maths and comprehension homework is differentiated four ways, spellings two. The only thing not differentiated is the grammar although that is generally differentiated by outcome-the children who find grammar easy will be adding adverbial time clauses whilst those that struggle with the concept will be including adverbs ending in ly! There is no excuse for not matching the work to the children's ability. If it is done in class ( presumably!) it can be done for homework!

PastSellByDate Sat 08-Nov-14 09:12:27

spanieleyes - I'm not disagreeing with you but out of 6 local schools here in Birmingham - only 1 differentiates homework (upper & lower ability - which often is too hard for struggling students) - most set the same task for all pupils in a class (and even the differentiating school often sets project/ essay/ report work identically for all students). Several (like DD1s former primary intend to set homework and somehow fail to do so week after week - others make homework entirely optional).

This is where - as a parent - I have real problems with 'treat us as professionals' - you're effectively teaching the same thing year after year and so presumably after say 3-4 years should have the resources laid in to provide differentiated homework. I also am shocked that teachers refuse to share resources (which did play out at DD1's former primary school).

I get that many teachers in KS2 are facing a huge range of abilities NC L2 - NC Level 5 (even 6 in KS2 upper) - but in theory it should be more than possible to provide work (in class/ as homework) to fully engage these students - but in practice (at least in our corner of England) this rarely seems to be the case.

I think the sticking point is marking time (easier to mark one assignment than several different ones - of course the obvious solution is to design differentiated maths homework with the same answers - in designing tasks just work backwards) and schools being unwilling to subscribe to learning tools like My Maths which can mark for the teacher, seriously train staff to use new technology & really use programmes/ new technology to their full extent.

I do appreciate training/ adopting new technology takes time - but the pace is very slow from where we're sitting....

spanieleyes Sat 08-Nov-14 09:25:09

You are assuming children/parents have access to computers, a good proportion of those in my class don't. So setting online homework would be ineffective as half the class would be unable to do it! We use sumdog and education city as "add ons" but I cannot set purely online homework for my class as I would be discriminating against those who have no access ( even though I run a homework club in school to try to overcome this!)
Birmingham is clearly a law unto itself! It is no more difficult or time consuming to mark 4 different sets of maths homework than it is one.
Oh, and any resources produced by teachers belong to the school, so it is not "teachers" refusing to share, it is schools-which is hardly any better but the distinction needs to be made!

Berrie Sat 08-Nov-14 09:36:14

I teach year 4 and my own DD is in year 4 and those numbers seem fine to me (although in my class we have moved on from number line for subtraction though my dd has not)
The children do need lots of consolidation with written calculation methods as they don't necessarily meet them during lessons every week and they then forget how to do them. Being confident and secure in written calculation methods is very important.

jacobibatoli Mon 10-Nov-14 22:39:01

just a view on My Maths and such like
my dds have used this and although it is good, it doesn't remember all your mistakes and corrections, where as if you do your homework in an exercise book, the methods take longer to sink in and when marked you can see where you have gone wrong and where you have got it right
doing it on-line you lose that visibility
and we learn by our mistakes
just a non-teacher view

PastSellByDate Tue 11-Nov-14 10:12:46


both my DDs have made mistakes on my maths - but desperately want that 100% score on their results page - so although they'll survive with 1 wrong answer, they tend to do the entire homework over again if it goes badly wrong.

Whilst they're using my maths they're doing their calculations on a piece of scratch paper. And when a problem goes wrong - I get a shout and go through the problem again with them.

Now I accept not every parent may be willing or want to do so - but the point is that with My Maths - all the homework resources are there available to be worked through as and when you chose.

For us, with DD1 mad about maths and preparing for the 11+ and absolutely no maths homework from school for entirety of Year 5 - quietly working through all L5 maths lessons/ homeworks on My Maths kept DD1 sane. Unfortunately by Year 6 the school had dropped their subscription to My Maths so DD1 couldn't start in on L6 materials - but she's subscribed again through her senior school and happily back playing games and doing the odd lesson/ homework if she's got a light evening for homework.


spaniel - I do take your point and also prefer old fashioned pencil to paper methods - but kids love computers and tend to prefer it. Access also isn't a huge issue. In fact just allowing pupils without computer to come in early/ work through break or lunch/ stay after school - or use computers instead of attending assemblies - does make it possible for those without home computers to access on-line maths homework. Most My Maths homeworks are 10 minutes - 30 minutes max.

What My Maths could do is allow you to stop after 10/ 15 minutes - save where you are and return later at your convenience. That's a design flaw of the programme - which could easily be rectified I suspect.

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