# Talk

## Year 3 maths question

(9 Posts)
SmileAndNod Sat 17-Oct-15 21:21:03

When I was at school (in the dark ages) we had it drummed into us that we always had to show our working, especially in maths, as in exams marks could be given for the correct method, even if the answer was wrong.

DS has worked out his fractions homework for this week (not terribly tricky) in his head and written the answers down with no method at all - I thought there might be some division / multiplication somewhere. Is this how it's done now?

Is there any way I can read up on the modern way of doing things as I'm so worried I'm going to help him in the wrong way.

Thank you

mrz Sat 17-Oct-15 21:37:32

Some questions ask for the child to show how they worked out the answer and there would be marks for correct working out even if the answer was incorrect at other times the answer is all that is required.
The new curriculum sets out "Formal written methods" children should know how to use.

irvine101 Sat 17-Oct-15 22:26:34

YES! My Ds is the same, he used to do it in his head, but now I make sure he shows working out for everything.
I had a another thread for this, and all the comment from MN teachers convinced me even more, that this is a very important, especially later stage of learning.

TryingHardDaily Sun 18-Oct-15 20:40:57

SmileAndNod..

I too was brought up the show-all-working way and that's what I teach my Year 4 DS.

This caused a bit of a clash when she came home and said the teacher didn't want her to show working. After speaking with the teacher, it was clear why.

For Mental Arithmetic exercises, the teacher wanted them to work it out in their heads. Once a concept it clear to the kid, I can see why she wanted DS to learn to do it in the head.

Now I tell the DS to always show working (still excellent advice) except for the Mental Arithmetic workouts.

Two things my dad always drilled into me, show the working and use brackets liberally. These olden goldies are still top, top advice.

d270r0 Mon 26-Oct-15 21:36:00

Loads of primary schools teach not to show working and do it all in their heads. I'm a secondary maths teacher- I have to drum into students again and again to "always show your working". And loads of them still won't. They seem to think "Well I'll get the right answer so I don't need to.". Not true! Particularly in the new specifications, they are many marks given in maths GCSE specifically FOR the working. In certain questions, it doesn't matter if they get the right answer, without the working they do not get the marks. Example- "Kiera has a £10 note. She buys a basket of fruit for £4.68 and a box of biscuits for £4.43. Does she have enough money? You MUST show your working."
Without the working part, the students could guess yes or no, and have a 50% chance of getting it right! And this question would be worth 2 or 3 marks. Hence why they need to show their working, so the examiner know they've worked it out properly. I hate that loads of primary schools say they don't need working. It's not setting them up correctly and preparing them for secondary school.

stillpudding25still Mon 26-Oct-15 21:53:33

I teach Yr 3 and unless it is a mental maths exercise, I would always tell the children to show their workings.

Ricardian Mon 26-Oct-15 22:03:10

"Kiera has a £10 note. She buys a basket of fruit for £4.68 and a box of biscuits for £4.43. Does she have enough money? You MUST show your working."

So what's the working for that question that you'd want to see? Two numbers less than 5 always sum to less than 10. You don't need to add the two numbers together.

catkind Tue 27-Oct-15 02:05:38

Ricardian, I'd imagine it would be enough to write £4.68+£4.43 <£5+£5 = £10.
Writing it down is a step towards being able to generalise it. It shows you've actually understood the maths and don't just have a vague instinct about amounts of money.

mrz Tue 27-Oct-15 08:18:12

Or do what one of my class did in a SATs test a few years ago

Drew a picture of a head with an arrow labelled I did it in my head ??

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