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Y3 behind in maths, what should school be doing?

(38 Posts)
LeonardoAcropolis Thu 28-Jan-16 17:58:32

Hello, my DS1 is in y3 and we have just attended parent's evening. He's very behind with maths - well below average.

I asked his teacher if he will be getting extra help but she said all he will get is a TA at his table to help him and the other children in his group.

A teacher friend of mine has said the school should be providing extra remedial help on top of this.

I wish to have another meeting with the teacher next week to discuss DS's progress, I want to raise the extra remedial group with her, but want to have my facts straight first!

Can anyone help me here? Thank you.

spanieleyes Thu 28-Jan-16 18:26:51

Well, technically a school doesn't actually HAVE to do anything. Clearly they SHOULD aim to ensure that all children make progress,attain the end of year group objectives etc which might mean additional support through intervention groups, booster sessions etc. But there is no actual compulsion to do so ( although OFSTED might query why children do not make the expected progress!)

clippityclop Thu 28-Jan-16 18:33:39

What are you doing to help? Lots for fun to be had at home with maths. Make it fun, praise him to the skies for trying. Kids maths books, playing maths games, helping him learn his times tables etc will all help. Ask the teacher so you can work together and support him.

Lindy2 Thu 28-Jan-16 18:34:53

My daughter isn't finding maths easy either and has fallen behind. She is attending small group extra classes. The teacher did say an extra half hour a day to reinforce the basic skills.

irvine101 Thu 28-Jan-16 18:52:22

Lots of free maths website.

mrz Thu 28-Jan-16 19:11:46

As spanieleleyes says the school doesn't have to do anything. They have decided to provide in class support from a TA which presumably they believe best meets his needs.
I would suggest finding out if there are particular areas he finds difficult.

Ferguson Thu 28-Jan-16 19:16:21

You have had good advice already, but I think it is important to UNDERSTAND basic concepts, so would suggest the following:

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 :

ChalkHearts Thu 28-Jan-16 20:22:11

How behind is he?

Dynamo maths is one of the best programs for children who really struggle with maths.

LeonardoAcropolis Thu 28-Jan-16 20:49:10

Thank you all for your advice and ideas flowers

He's very behind. His teacher says he cannot apply what he has learnt to new maths problems. Funny thing is, he does have a good memory. He is very strong with reading, literacy and science but he just does not get maths. His problems appeared in year 2 and he did get put into a remedial group (of course, it was a SATS year!) and made good progress. He was assessed at level 2B at the end of the year. We helped him at home too.

My teacher friend has kindly offered to tutor him for a few weeks, and then we may find a tutor. DS has decided that he hates maths and it's too hard and my friend is working on changing that (she is interested in the psychology side of learning).

He knows his 2 and 10 times tables, is nearly there with 5 and can count in 3s. He can also add and subtract in his head, but just getting him to believe in himself is very hard.

He has to endure a mental maths test every week and is given five seconds to answer each question. He scores very low with these, he told me that he only got one right this week, it bothered him sad I told him it doesn't matter.

GraciesMansion Thu 28-Jan-16 20:55:46

If he really was a 2b at the end of y2 then he's not massively behind at all. It sounds like the in class support is what he needs.

ChalkHearts Thu 28-Jan-16 21:00:13

A term ago - at the end of Y2 he was exactly where he should be.

So unless the 2B was inflated he's not behind now.

What he might have is slow processing or similar. Which is totally different to being behind in maths.

LeonardoAcropolis Thu 28-Jan-16 21:23:48

The school now has a new assessment system (is this nationwide?) so no longer assessing his year as 3a b or c, their progress is assessed as Basic, Advancing or Deep. My DS couldn't be assessed as Basic. He was assessed as the stage below, called Pebbles (bloody ridiculous name). So, if we go purely by his assessments, his progress has regressed.

Because of the change to the assessment criteria, the new curriculum and the fact his level 2b may have been inflated, I don't want to assume that the standard of teaching is inadequate, but the thought has crossed my mind!

LeonardoAcropolis Thu 28-Jan-16 21:30:07

chalkhearts slow processing, do you know how to help with that?

Maladicta Thu 28-Jan-16 21:33:56

Having a good memory won't help him if he hasn't developed basic number sense, as Ferguson points out.

He needs to have a really solid understanding of the relationships between numbers, not just be able to do things rote. Calculating in his head isn't actually going to help him if he always uses the same method.

I doubt whether sticking him with a TA for one session a week will make any difference, working with him at home by doing some of the activities suggested above would probably have a far greater effect.

There are some really good resources online if you want to read more about number sense, a lot are American. I know not everyone on MN is a fan but look out for stuff by Jo Boaler.

WombatStewForTea Thu 28-Jan-16 22:34:37

I have a few children in my class (Y3) who were a 2b supposedly at ks1. I've also not put them as entering the Y3 curriculum because I feel they have massive gaps in their understanding of number and place value. And I'm being got at by SLT because these kids need to be making expected progress by the end of the year - not going to happen!
A TA just working with a group like that a few times a week is going to make bugger all impact. My kids are receiving additional intensive maths intervention outside of the maths lesson and then me working with them as often as possible in maths.

melonribena Thu 28-Jan-16 22:46:12

A 2b is the expected level at year 2. Or was until the curriculum changed this year!
From what you describe, he doesn't sound hugely behind so a ta supporting work in lessons would possibly be all he needs. There are likely to be children in his class working below a 2b.

I would ask the teacher to provide ideas about what you can do to support at home

ChalkHearts Fri 29-Jan-16 02:24:45

Slow processing is hard to help with, but with persistence you can improve it.

I'd start by looking at diet - removing eNumbers and artificial sweeteners. Cutting down on sugar. And taking a high quality omega supplement.

And I'd also look at any of the brain training games that out there.

And lastly I'd add 'crossing the midline' games. Ie using his left hand on the right side of his body and vice a versa.

screamingeels Fri 29-Jan-16 05:06:35

I don't really get from your description that he is very behind - so there's obviously something very basic about number sense or place value he isn't getting or school have very high expectations for end of year, including emphasis on speed. You probably need to find out which it is.

I am a bit angry for him that he is being turned off maths or made to feel he can't do it. My DD who is behind (dyscalculia/ dyslexia: 2C in Y2 after intensive 1-2-1 intervention, can't do what your son can) doesn't feel like that - I think whatever else they do school need to sort that out.

I have known tutoring to help with confidence if school won't.

mrz Fri 29-Jan-16 06:37:01

One of my pet hates is struggling pupils withdrawn from class and sent off with a TA.
I agree sitting a TA at the table is likely to be ineffective and coukd possibly lead to over reliance on support.
You really need to know the exact nature of the problem in order to tackle it effectively. A child working at 2B in the summer is likely to still be 2B in Autumn term (definitely not 3anything). The new curriculum has moved expectations meaning that children who were previously achieving expected levels will now be below expectations so this may account for the report only the class teacher can tell you.

BertrandRussell Fri 29-Jan-16 06:44:42

"I'd start by looking at diet - removing eNumbers and artificial sweeteners. Cutting down on sugar. And taking a high quality omega supplement."

Well, that might be good for him. Bugger all to do with his Maths, though!!!!!!

irvine101 Fri 29-Jan-16 06:53:16

Bert, she is talking about how to help with slow processing.

BertrandRussell Fri 29-Jan-16 06:56:48

Won't help with that, either!

ChalkHearts Fri 29-Jan-16 07:00:40

Bertrand you can't read. I was making a suggestion as to how to improve slow processing.

Which the OP asked for after I suggested that might be a problem.

BertrandRussell Fri 29-Jan-16 07:03:59

Evidence that diet change helps with "slow processing" please?

ChalkHearts Fri 29-Jan-16 07:04:39

Bertrand how on earth do you know that diet improvements won't improve brain speed? Have you spent a lot of time researching it?

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