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Any state primaries or pre-pre/prep schools using maths textbooks?

(35 Posts)
pickledsiblings Thu 28-May-15 09:52:44

I'm curious about this and would love to hear from people.

There is a bit of a push on to reintroduce the textbooks and I was wondering which schools still used them or had plans to introduce them.

There is a Shanghai maths one scheduled for publication soon. Good thing/bad thing?


ltk Thu 28-May-15 10:00:58

Not that I have seen. I have been in schools that have workbooks (ie, Abacus) but they are used only sometimes as they do not fit the schemes of Work.

soapboxqueen Thu 28-May-15 10:01:50

I'm primary and the only maths text books I've ever used (and rarely) was the abacus maths scheme.

The reason they aren't used is because they don't give your what you need eg methods, extension and differentiation.

mrz Thu 28-May-15 10:51:21

We've tried various over the years Ginn, Abacus, Heinemann, New Collins, TeeJay and not found one that does exactly what we need/want (I've even got some Singapore maths in the cupboard)
I think Collins are publishing the Shanghai maths books but I've not seen a sample.

pickledsiblings Thu 28-May-15 10:54:46

Oh I remember Abacus soapbox, DD used those.

I showed my younger DSs my older ones textbook and they liked the idea of it. Neither of them have ever used textbooks in school.

Is not fitting the schemes of work a deal-breaker do you think ltk.

Thatssofunny Thu 28-May-15 10:58:20

I'm at a state primary and we have Maths textbooks. (Granted, I've come from a middle school, so have always used them...).

With my Y6 class, I have used:
- Target Maths 5 and 6
- Maths on Target 6
- Level Up Maths (3-5 and 4-6)
- Essential Maths 7C and 7H
- Abacus 5 and 6 (normal and challenge books)

Have used Target Maths/Maths on Target (new one out is "Target your Maths") and Essential Maths at my previous school. We don't work through them cover to cover, though. I have a few copies of each and just pick things. We also use lots of other things, not just textbooks.

(Before anyone complains about me using KS3 resources: None of the secondary schools we feed into use Essential Maths or Level Up.)

mrz Thu 28-May-15 11:14:36

As you can see its not unusual for schools to use text books buts it's not usual for them to stick with just one and will use a variety to suit their needs.

pickledsiblings Thu 28-May-15 11:28:56

I think they went out of fashion when differentiation became a big thing (and because of the worry that some teachers were slavishly tied to them?).

Thatsso If you don't have a class set, do you get students to share the books or do you just use them as an extra resource for individuals iykwim?

mrz if there was one great one then who knows? It would be useful as a parent to see things in a textbook the way that they would be done in class.

Thatssofunny Thu 28-May-15 11:36:45

pickled They might share. However, they are not all completing the same task at the same time. There's no point giving the Abacus ones to my Level 6s. My pupils tend to choose the task they feel is most appropriate to their level of understanding and challenges them sufficiently. I might have given one page in one book, a choice of two in another, an IT task and a worksheet as they pick one of those five to complete, while I work with a focus group.

mrz Thu 28-May-15 11:46:32

Just found Cambridge maths text book in my school bag so there's another scheme we dip into

mrz Thu 28-May-15 11:48:51

There was a discussion not so long ago where teachers explained

pickledsiblings Thu 28-May-15 11:50:42

Thanks Thatsso. So would you say that you use them as a source of quality questions rather than as a teaching resource (to explain concepts)?

I'm interested in the idea of a really great textbook that would make teachers' lives easier.

mrz Thu 28-May-15 11:51:02

pickledsiblings Thu 28-May-15 11:51:57

I wondered about the Cambridge Maths one mrz. Would you rate it?

mrz Thu 28-May-15 11:53:46

I wouldn't rush out to buy it if that's what you mean pickled

mrz Thu 28-May-15 11:54:02

pickledsiblings Thu 28-May-15 11:56:58

I've read that and some other stuff besides mrz which makes the point that the Shanghai approach is not a 'one size fits all' one but rather a 'we will make sure that all DC succeed in maths' approach. All DC are exposed to all of the curriculum and they are facilitated to understand it after the formal teaching happens.

mrz Thu 28-May-15 12:04:03

My head went out there as part of a fact finding group a couple of years ago to observe lessons.
I think it's quite naive to imagine that a method can be lifted from one culture and will work in the same way in another ... hopefully we learnt that from attempts to follow New Zealand, Italy, Sweden etc without considering societal differences.

Thatssofunny Thu 28-May-15 12:10:31

pickled They've got questions in them. I don't see the point in generating extra worksheets, when all I need my pupils to do is to practise a particular concept. They are not there to "teach" - that's my job. I frequently tell them to ignore the examples of how to do calculations in the books, because they aren't the ones I've taught or need them to practise.

I went through a school system, which uses textbooks (cover to cover) and streaming. We had different textbooks, depending on the stream/school you were in. I'm not sure why anyone would want or need one single textbook, matter how amazing someone might think it is. I've got my own teaching style and I'm confident and successful with that. My year group colleague has a completely different style, equally confident and successful, but doesn't normally use textbooks or different tasks. Our classes are very different in terms of aptitude and attitude.

pickledsiblings Thu 28-May-15 12:32:15

mrz totally agree that what works in one culture/setting won't necessarily work in another.

Thatsso perhaps it's the student that could benefit if all their conceptual learning came from one source? It would have to be pretty darn good though.

DD (13) makes great use of her textbooks during revision.

kesstrel Thu 28-May-15 13:11:14

One of the great advantages of maths textbooks that contain explanations and worked examples for older children (year 5 up) is that if a teacher is weak, or if there are other problems (say a string of supply teachers because of long-term sickness), then the student has something to fall back on.

Textbooks in this country tend to be weak because the sales have been too low, so there is no incentive to invest in creating really good ones. A good textbook will have been extensively user-tested to find the gaps and problems with it before it is released.

mrz Thu 28-May-15 13:11:35

I think relying on a single source very limiting

mrz Thu 28-May-15 13:27:51

I'm from a generation where texts books were the norm and many children failed to learn with them

cherokeee Thu 28-May-15 14:01:17

MRZ -- Do you think the number of children who fail to learn maths is greater or less now than in "your generation"?

soapboxqueen Thu 28-May-15 14:01:29

Even when I've had access to textbooks I feel I've spent more time looking for the right piece of work than it would have taken me just to create the work myself.

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