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please help me work this out

(14 Posts)
Castasunder Mon 18-Jul-16 22:30:52

My dd finds maths hard. I've always known this but this year her confidence is at at all time low. She's in Year 4 but her recent report says she didn't meet expectations. This is the first time- she met them in all other years.

Her teacher did give her some support earlier in the year via small group work (but I really had to push for it). I've got her a tutor once a week and that seems to be going well. The issue I have is school - should I have any expectations of them to address this? I'm worried about her deteriorating further but they just say 'wait and see'. They seem largely disinterested but I really don't want to write her off just yet. I've asked what they plan to do next year now that she has failed to meet y4 objectives, but they didn't reply.

irvineoneohone Mon 18-Jul-16 22:52:36

Hope school reply to you with plans.

This website has very good tutorial video for all the maths skills. Maybe try a bit over the summer if she likes it? It's a free website.

Castasunder Mon 18-Jul-16 23:19:13

Thanks Irvine.

Would you insist? Will look at thT. Am I right to insist that they put something in place? If a chlld doesn't meet national objectives , isn't it a case that it needs to be addressed? I'm at a loss with what I can reasonably expect but I've really pushed them to listen to me this year and it's been hard. They just haven't seemed interested. Aside from that, dd now calls herself 'stupid . sad

irvineoneohone Tue 19-Jul-16 06:07:09

If you can have a chat with class teacher, I would try to find out where dd's weakness in maths is, before break up.

And keep working during the summer with tutor and try to cover yr4 objectives as much as possible.

And request to meet with teacher, as soon as school starts in September.

Castasunder Tue 19-Jul-16 14:26:03

I met with her at the beginning of year 4 and she said she would keep an eye on dd but that's it. I asked for intervention - which they eventually provided near the end of this year - but after my insistence. I'm just trying to work out what's reasonable in terms of what I can ask to. I really feel an overwhelming sense of 'couldn't care less' but I can accept that this may not be the case at all

irvineoneohone Tue 19-Jul-16 15:55:38

Does she have new teacher next year?
Some teacher is great with less able children, while others are better at stretching able ones.

It's end of year, so I would leave it for now, and have proper meeting with school/ teacher in new school year.

If the tutor is working, it may not have affected this year's progress yet, but will make difference in the future, I'm sure.

IME, keep doing 10 mins or so everyday worked really well in the long run.
(My ds's case it was reading comprehension, didn't get the result straight away, but made huge difference in 2 years.)

Good luck.

irvineoneohone Tue 19-Jul-16 16:30:28

And I do really recommend Khan. It's a free site with great tutorial videos, which explains how to do everything in detail, than test you with short quiz for your understanding.( I even think you don't need a teacher to learn new thing, and covers everything.)

lacebell10 Tue 19-Jul-16 17:51:00

Is it due to the curriculum change as they have moved some year 5 expectations down a year? Try and find out what specifically she is weaker on, is it tables? Multiplication etc. Or being afraid of giving the wrong answer, trying to work out what's needed, not showing working out.... tbh the tutor you have should be telling you where her weak areas are that's what you're paying them for

Ferguson Tue 19-Jul-16 20:29:09

I will give you my standard Maths 'handout': in particular, it is important to try and help a child to UNDERSTAND what Maths is all about. Try to us it in practical ways - cooking, measuring, collecting data from friends 'likes' and 'dislikes' etc.

Come back if you have specific queries.

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 :

Castasunder Tue 19-Jul-16 20:29:50

Hi, yes the teacher says she's low in confidence but the issue I have is that my dd says she's kept on a table with other kids who all struggle, so she feels labelled. She's been calling herself stupid, which is heartbreaking. Teacher just keeps saying she needs to 'be more confident' but that just feels so vague to me. What chance does she have of raising her self esteem when she's on a table where she feels labelled?
Tutor says lots of gaps are there in early learning of bonds and time tables. She had been doing great work with her so far.
Teacher didn't even know dd's levels when she came into the class- she thought dd's levels were much lower than they were and it was me who had to dig them out to show her what they were. She then brushed it off and said that although dd's levels were expected when she arrived in her class, she 'would have been the lower end' and she can only work with that.

bojorojo Wed 20-Jul-16 00:39:16

IT appears the school have a problem with assessing progress and attainment. The teacher should know exactly what your DD can, and cannot, do and plan the lessons accordingly. It is not unusual for lower achieving children to be grouped together but they should have extra help from a TA. At a school I know, the lower achieving children are taken out for revision when the class is about to start a new topic. This gets them up to speed and primes them for what they are about to learn. Could your school do that? You may be correct that she feels down about her position in the class, so definitely keep going over the holidays. Also, make sure the tutor is in step with the new curriculum and not doing their own thing.

Labelling of children is a difficult concept but in education someone is top and others are nearer the bottom. She could, no doubt, sit with children who find the work easier, but if she does not find it easy or cannot keep up with them, will she feel any better about her maths or herself? I guess it is just not so obvious. In these days of exam results and league tables, schools often find grouping children with similar attainment is easier but you could explain to the school that you think she would benefit from being on a mixed table and see what they say.

MilkRunningOutAgain Wed 20-Jul-16 16:16:26

My DD had similar problems in yr 3, luckily due to 2 really good teachers in yr 4 & 5 she has started to progress well. My DD's school split the children into 2 groups for maths and DD is in the lower achieving group. She has gradually moved up this group and is now nearly at the top of it attainment wise, which has helped her self esteem enormously. But she is always challenged and I can see from her books that she is getting appropriate work and definitely not coasting. How the school manages it I'm not sure but as far as I know children in the lower group do not consider themselves stupid, the school bigs up effort and trying new things, not attainment, though that isn't hidden. It is difficult and took 2-3 years to get my DD to see she could do maths and to enjoy it, before this she thought she was stupid too. I think the OP should discuss this with the teacher and work on getting her DD to view maths positively.

Castasunder Thu 21-Jul-16 10:47:31

I've tried to speak to school about setting before now- not with a view to getting them to change their system, but just a general ensuing about whether they thought it all served children as best they could. When I've asked for intervention or more support from the TA, they implied that i was contradicting myself in that on one hand I wanted dd not to be labelled and on the other , I wanted extra support from school that would reinforce dd's weaknesses. I dunno....I felt really bamboozled and tied up in knots by the there just wasn't a single area they were willing to concede. They even argued that dd's feelings about herself weren't possible. I mean, how can they argue with a feeling?
Anyway. I think I'll leave it for this year and hope for the best for September. I think I'm going to have to write the school off and take matters into my own hands in terms of tutoring etc

Castasunder Thu 21-Jul-16 10:47:55

Thank you all for your suggestions btw! wink

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