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Differentiation in maths-year 3. Son unhappy!

(24 Posts)
Trumpette Wed 22-Jun-16 16:35:16

DS has come home the last two days annoyed that several children from his Maths group have been taken out by another teacher to do 'harder maths'. It is difficult to get more information from him and in his mind he is as fast and good as the other children in this group.

I saw his teacher a few months ago after he was upset by some 'tests' he had been asked to complete and was told that his maths was good and he was still 'at the top of the class'. But I always feel that the I never really get the full picture!

It is starting to annoy him and he is moaning to me! I have suggested to him that perhaps that he needs to show to the teachers that he can complete the harder work with the other children and he is now keen to keep practising! However he is a quieter child in the class and not uber competitive in a vocal way (the other children are keen to tell everyone how good they are!).

Any advice would be good, I am tempted to wait until end of year reports and then catch up with the teacher after then with him in tow.

Thanks in advance

MadSprocker Wed 22-Jun-16 16:45:25

If it is anything like us, they will be measured through assessment, so perhaps he needs more grounding before he can move on?

irvineoneohone Wed 22-Jun-16 16:49:46

I think you should talk to the teacher and find out what's happening.
Some children can be quite good at calculating, but not with using mathematical knowledge to solve complex problems. It will benefit him to do that kind of stuff if he's good, but benefit him even more if he isn't.So asking the teacher to get him included will have no negative effect. (Not unless he can't keep up with his peers.)

EricXXGmex Wed 22-Jun-16 17:18:36

It is possible that the recent tests have uncovered that the other children are more able than the teacher (or your DS) had realised: it's hard to demonstrate your abilities if you are not given work that allows you to do so.

It's also possible that the tests have highlighted areas in which the other two are lacking understanding, and they were being 'caught up' - but presented it to their peers as 'doing harder maths'

Floggingmolly Wed 22-Jun-16 17:21:05

The teacher definitely won't be taking the kid's abilities at their own valuation; no matter how keen they are to tell everyone how good they are.

BarbarianMum Wed 22-Jun-16 17:41:33

Sooner or later we all discover that there are others who are better than us at things - if not at primary, then at secondary or university or in life. Tell him he's not in competition with these children, and just to work hard and do his best.

Trumpette Wed 22-Jun-16 18:17:43

I think including him will be a good thing so he can hear what the teacher says! I remember doing this with his older sibling and it helped when she moaned to me as I could reference what she had said.

irvineoneohone Wed 22-Jun-16 18:20:51

If he is already good at mental maths, try something like these:

It will definitely extend mathematical thinking.

Trumpette Wed 22-Jun-16 18:39:17

Thank you irvineoneohone

Tidypidy Wed 22-Jun-16 18:51:47

It could be that the other children are going out to do work they have missed or that they need more help with. They may not be best at maths at all!

Trumpette Wed 22-Jun-16 18:56:01

I would love to think that the children are needing extra help but knowing the children I think it unlikely! My son is just perplexed by it TBH but he is only eight! X

irvineoneohone Wed 22-Jun-16 19:46:44

Also, this is ultimate goal for each NC year expectation. You should try aiming mastery with greater depth, if not there yet.

Trumpette Wed 22-Jun-16 21:06:14

Many thanks again irvineoneohone I will have a detailed read.

DS was talking about it in his bath tonight & he is going to write a note to the teacher and ask why he did not get picked he is so miffed!

I guess it is him taking responsibility!

Letsgomaths Sat 25-Jun-16 10:49:25

I thought the school was teaching him differentiation (not usually seen until A-level maths!).

bojorojo Sat 25-Jun-16 16:14:47

I think there is another problem here - the children who are considered better at maths have been taken out to work on, presumably, the "exceeding" age related maths curriculum. It is a huge shame this is not being done in the classroom as peer to peer learning is really valuable between children who are doing well and it is a great shame the school has not recognised this. Usually weaker children are taken out to enhance their prior learning ahead of starting a new topic. This is a far more effective use of scarce resources. I would ask why they have chosen to separate out the brighter ones whilst leaving your child with less opportunity to learn from his peers and feeling 2nd class. Not great.

PowerPantsRule Sat 25-Jun-16 21:49:47

Me too Letsgomaths - thought it was a gifted and talented thread!

RalphSteadmansEye Sat 25-Jun-16 21:53:45

I thought they were teaching differentiation, too, which ds is struggling with in year 10!

irvineoneohone Sat 25-Jun-16 22:08:11

like differential calculus? My ds is in yr3 and g&t in maths, but no where near that yet! This is primary thread! grin

Goofygoober79 Wed 29-Jun-16 19:04:04

I teach year five. Children are taken out in various combinations for different reasons to work with an adult (always after an input by me to ensure 'quality first' teaching). It's always hard if children think that they should be in this group, or doing that work, or sitting on the other table, but there will be a reason for it! Teachers cannot, and should not have to, share all the reasoning behind every teaching decision they make - we are professionals who make decisions based on continuous assessment of all children. I wouldn't worry, or let your DS dwell on it - there could be any number of reasons why he is not in that group, and as others have pointed out, the children who went in the group may well have not been doing 'harder maths' at all, but working on something they haven't quite understood. Saying this, if your DS is adamant, he should go to the teacher and ask about it - if I were his teacher I would find a sensitive way to explain whatever it was.

Floggingmolly Wed 29-Jun-16 20:18:57

An 8 year old writing a letter to his teacher to inform her he thinks he should be in the top group... He should get full marks for effrontery, but not much else. Can't believe anyone would encourage this, let alone another teacher hmm

AllPizzasGreatAndSmall Fri 01-Jul-16 22:00:44

Perhaps explain to him that the teacher has a better understanding of all of the children's abilities than him and it is her professional opinion that the other children should go to work with the other teacher.

irvineoneohone Fri 01-Jul-16 22:09:18

I agree, AllPizzas. But also think his attitude towards learning is great.He wants to stretch himself and wants to try something harder.

rainbowunicorn Sat 02-Jul-16 20:07:27

Throughout school there will be children who are taken out of class to work on different things for various reasons. You and your son are making a big deal out of nothing here. There could be any number of reasons for the children being out of class doing different work.
The teacher is the one who is continually assessing the children and will know the abilities each have. You really can't go running to the teacher every time your son moans about something being unfair, you would end up in every week with something if that was the case.

irvineoneohone Sat 02-Jul-16 20:24:41

rainbowunicorn, op hasn't been running to teacher every time her son moaned, has she?
Yes there could be any number of reasons, so I think there's nothing wrong in asking.

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