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Y3 maths angst

(8 Posts)
SarfEast1cated Mon 28-Sep-15 18:24:29

My DD is really struggling with maths, she is on what the teacher calls a 'hard' table and is struggling. This happened in Y2 and she is now very underconfident at maths. The teacher says she's doing ok, and needs to believe in herself more. We are learning 3 and 4 times table and inverse numbers and decimals. She seems fine at tables but a bit all at sea when it comes to the rest of it. I feel that she lacks a proper foundation, and doesn't really get maths. Not really sure what to do. Teacher says she needs to believe in herself more, I feel she is floundering a bit. Any advice? What can I do? Lots of tears at night and in the morning before school so I think it's a bit of problem...

Millymollymama Mon 28-Sep-15 18:44:31

What is a "hard table"? Does it mean they all struggle or the work they are given is the most difficult? If the work is too difficult, it might help her self-esteem to go onto an "easier" table. Has the school explained to you that the curriculum is now the new one for Y3. There is a gap to be bridged from ypthe old Y2 curriculum to the new one - and it does not get easier. What grade did your DD finish on last year?

Schools often find that girls have a lack of self esteem in maths. Have you got to the bottom of why she does not like maths? Does she get lots of the answers wrong or can she just not do them? I would have another chat with the teacher to see what can be done to boost her confidence because it will not be pleasant for her to worry like this about maths.

Ferguson Mon 28-Sep-15 18:57:29

I was a primary TA for twenty years, and this is my standard Numeracy advice:

Practical things are best for grasping number concepts - bricks, Lego, beads, counters, money, shapes, weights, measuring, cooking.

Do adding, taking away, multiplication (repeated addition), division (sharing), using REAL OBJECTS as just 'numbers' can be too abstract for some children.

Number Bonds of Ten forms the basis of much maths, so try to learn them. Using Lego or something similar, use a LOT of bricks (of just TWO colours, if you have enough) lay them out so the pattern can be seen of one colour INCREASING while the other colour DECREASES. Lay them down, or build up like steps.

ten of one colour none of other
nine of one colour one of other
eight of one colour two of other
seven of one colour three of other
then of course, the sides are equal at 5 and 5; after which the colours 'swap over' as to increasing/decreasing.

To learn TABLES, do them in groups that have a relationship, thus:

x2, x4, x8

x3, x6, x12

5 and 10 are easy

7 and 9 are rather harder.

Starting with TWO times TABLE, I always say: "Imagine the class is lining up in pairs; each child will have a partner, if there is an EVEN number in the class. If one child is left without a partner, then the number is ODD, because an odd one is left out."

Use Lego bricks again, lay them out in a column of 2 wide to learn 2x table. Go half way down the column, and move half the bricks up, so that now the column is 4 bricks wide. That gives the start of 4x table.

Then do similar things with 3x and 6x.

With 5x, try and count in 'fives', and notice the relationship with 'ten' - they will alternate, ending in 5 then 10.

It is important to try and UNDERSTAND the relationships between numbers, and not just learn them 'by rote'.

An inexpensive solar powered calculator (no battery to run out!) can help learn tables by 'repeated addition'. So: enter 2+2 and press = to give 4. KEEP PRESSING = and it should add on 2 each time, giving 2 times table.

There are good web sites, which can be fun to use :


If you need specific advice, come back to me.

irvine101 Mon 28-Sep-15 19:11:25

There are a lot of free maths website.

I particularly recommend Khan Academy, even though it's American.
KA has tutorial video for each different skill, and you can progress on your own pace, and if you are lost how to do something, you can always go back to watch tutorials again.

Also if My dc is stuck on something, I always look for it on you tube.
They always have loads of tutorials made by different people.

redskybynight Mon 28-Sep-15 20:08:58

Does she have to do the "hard" work? At DC' school there are normally several levels of work and although an individual DC might be encouraged to do a particular level, they would always be able to do the lower one if they didn't feel confident. This has worked well for DD whose maths is patchy as she could do a lower level and then sometimes progress to the higher level if she felt she'd "got" it - an approach that sounds like it would benefit your DD?

SarfEast1cated Mon 28-Sep-15 20:46:56

Thanks all! Ferguson your post is inspired, I will crack out the Lego forthwith!
She apparently is on the top table, but is sat with quite a few boys that say how easy everything is, so she is feeling like the only one who doesn't get it, so feels embarrassed and upset. It's a real shame, because I don't want her to label herself 'rubbish' at maths.
I will try some of the websites recommended here. She really likes Dragon box, so hopefully when they do equations she will come into her own at least!
I wish they would put her on an easier table so she could at least consolidate her knowledge a bit.
She got 'told off' (not sure how accurate that is) because she couldn't finish the worksheet. She said she didn't understand it, so I told her to put her hand up. She said the teacher was working with one table and the TA with another so no-one noticed her. If everything has got hard so quickly it's hardly surprising the teachers will be busy with everyone!

CookieDoughKid Thu 08-Oct-15 21:13:12

I would recommend The MAths Factor by Carol Vorderman. You really need to get right back to basics. 10-15mins a day and your dd will catchup quickly.

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Thu 08-Oct-15 21:18:54

Use maths language at home where you can, use quarters, halves, percentages, weights, guess lengths, timings ... how long will it take you to run to the lampost? .. talk in days months, ... use the words tri quad oct ... ..Lack of language skills hold kids back

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