Year 4 child finding maths hard(8 Posts)
My daughter is in year four. She has always been a strong reader and has never found any aspects of literacy diifficult.
However she seems to really be finding it hard to put in any effort with maths. I am not sure how she is at school-she is in the top group but on the lower table in this group-but when I ask her to do any maths questions at home she just won't put any thought into it and just says the first answer which comes into her head. If I try and explain what she could do to solve the problem she just shouts at me and says she hates maths.
Do you allow her to play online maths games? And Khan academy has lots of tutorial videos and maths quiz. It's all free websites.
If the foundations of maths are effectively taught, and are UNDERSTOOD by pupils, they should be able to manage. However, sometimes the 'understanding' just doesn't happen, which results in following instructions, without really knowing why things are done a certain way.
The following is really for younger children, but it may fill in gaps or clarify things she doesn't understand:
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 :
It is normal for some children who is good at English, but don't like math. And you DD is in the top group, have you talked to the teacher? If teacher don't think she has any problem with math, then I think you don't need to ask her to do extra at home.
Would she be better in a lower group where she isn't constantly in the shadow of the year's brightest mathmeticians? Refusing to try is often a sign of lack of confidence and a fear of getting stuff wrong.
My y4 dd is like this, really good at English but thinks she's rubbish at maths (she's not, she's still slightly above the expected level, she's just not way above like she is in English). I just tell her having to put in more effort does not equal being rubbish at something. I think learning guitar has helped with this because she realises that most people learning an instrument are starting from the same low level - how well you progress depends on how much you're willing to practise.
I make dd practise her times table and add up money, weigh out baking ingredients etc (i.e. hopefully let her see that maths is relevant to everyday life) but would only make her do extra work if the teacher said she was having problems with a particular area of maths.
We play games where you have to score and get our daughter (in year 4) to add up.
I also remind her that practise is important and that you don't learn things overnight.
Plus things like weighing out ingredients too.
And every now and again run through her times tables with her.
There is a computer game which I unhelpfully can't remember the name of where you have to collect up all the numbers for a times table before getting attacked by stinging bug things. The numbers all follow behind like a snake. She enjoyed doing that.
DD was like this until she got really secure with her times tables, number bonds etc. We used komodo online - about 10 mins a day. It's really helped.
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