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Year 5 Maths

(20 Posts)
citykat Mon 23-Jan-17 14:10:21

DD's maths book looks sparse, even allowing for Christmas production and end of term fun. Several pages are filled with photos ( of other children) saying "today we worked together on shapes" or " we were learning about fractions" with no evidence of what DD did. For last week there is no work in her book. She says they spent the week working in groups collating data and turning it into a graph. There's no graph in her book.
Previously she was "top table". Now it is mixed ability groups with the children accessing work appropriate to their needs- choosing bronze silver or gold work from a work sheet. Not much evidence of the challenging sophisticated questions I read about in the Maths Mastery document.
To me the pace seems slow. She is capable of more. She says it is the same work as she did in year 4.
Can anyone tell me what good practice for more able children in maths looks like? Is this group work normal? Any hints what to say to teacher to pick the pace up or provide more challenging work? she's coasting which surely is not what Maths Mastery is supposed to be?
Thanks for any tips

irvineoneohone Mon 23-Jan-17 14:24:59

I think to ask for more challenging work if she isn't challenged is ok, but ask to pick up the pace sound bit pushy to me.

If you have document, how is her work compared to it?
I kind of given up at my ds' school for maths challenge, and he does extra maths if he wants to, at home.
But you never know, some school are doing quite good job according to mn, so just ask the teacher.

golfbuggy Mon 23-Jan-17 17:05:40

Does she ask for more challenging work?
My DD's school operates in a similar way and the children are expected to take responsibility for their own learning. You'll probably find all her work isn't in her book as well - DD's school seems to run death by worksheet.

The new maths curriculum is very challenging. The pace will not be slow, unless the school are really not going through everything (which would obviously be a worry!)

Misplacedcell Mon 23-Jan-17 17:41:07

The school is unlikely to change its patterns much. For the school, too many other pressures will support the status quo. Sad to say it will be up to you. Look at the current text book, there might be question sections and set out some of these for your child to do on a regular basis. Also you might google maths practice for 10 year olds. Or let your child search them out. But observe the progress for yourself to make sure it is all working smoothly. As you rightly note Maths needs regular work: practise on problems regularly..

bojorojo Mon 23-Jan-17 18:14:06

Where I am a Governor, I have observed Maths lessons in Y5. Children sit on tables of 6 and work with other chidren, work in pairs, or work by themselves. The lessons are taught by the teacher to all, usually via the whiteboard, then children practice what they have learnt and this is initially with all the class joining in during the lesson. The work is then differentiated with the bright children doing the hardest or even Herculean tasks. There is also Hard and Harder so a bit like your school. However, they choose, but with guidance. The teacher circulates around the room to ensure the children are doing what they should be and challenging if necessary. The vast majority of children choose appropriate work and I have noticed some go straight to the hardest and then have to go back a stage! Children who regularly achieve at the highest levels are set addtional work within the topic to extend their knowledge. They do not start another topic.

All the work is in their books and I frequently review books with the teachers to look at progression. The National Curriculum for Y4 is not the same as Y5. If there is no work in the books, then complain - this is not right. What would an Ofsted inspector say? It sounds too fluffy to me.

The pace of the lessons is fairly fast but the children who may get left behind do pre-topic work to brush up on tables or whatever they need to access the new topic. They are taken out of another lesson to do this. However, the new curriculum stays on a topic for longer than the old one, so may appear slow in comparison.

Very few teachers are trained at the moment to teach Mastery Maths. The project is being rolled out and the first round of teachers are now doing the course, I believe. (At least in my LA). Unless your Maths co-ordinator has been chosen, then you may not technically have Mastery Maths in your school. It is a steep learning curve and not all chldren will be given challenging sophisticated questions. Some will need to practice the less sophisticated stuff first, then progress to more challenging work.

Mummymathsteacher Mon 23-Jan-17 19:41:37

A lot of this depends how your school has interpreted mastery. Most research I have read explains mastery to be having a greater depth of maths knowledge (being able to apply it etc) rather than moving into a new topic. Some schools see mastery as "shanghai teaching". Others (mistakenly) believe it is for the more able.

I'd certainly want to ask more about the quantity of work. Is there more evidence elsewhere (folders, online etc) Group work is fine and often good for practicing verbalising reasoning etc, but I wouldn't want to see that all the time. Have you looked at the Y5 national curriculum statements? Does the work look similar to this? As a PP said, the content is different to Y4.

More able mathematicians should be problem solving, reasoning and applying in different and more challenging ways. It is no longer the case that the most able rush into a new topic. But itbaounds like you need to have a conversation with the teacher here

citykat Mon 23-Jan-17 20:34:41

Thanks. My fear is that school have taken the MM bit about children only moving up in exceptional circumstances, and keeping whole class together, a bit too rigidly. We are def doing the same topics again - time, fractions, translating shapes were all done in Y4 and now again, and the whole class approach does not seem to take into account those that have already done it to a fairly high standard. She's not a prodigy but is more than capable. I need to seek out the stretch aspect in class and speak to maths coordinator- I know she knows some of the children are capable of so much more. Irvine I think I re of use you from a previous discussion in this topic. Is so frustrating. Finding time to go online to do more is hard with work, other children and sports stuff. I don't want her to feel punished and am not prepared to give up on a challenging maths environment at school. Homework this weekend was 'go on mathletics'. No particular topic, nothing set on there, no clue as to what would be useful. Cross about this too.

Mummymathsteacher Mon 23-Jan-17 20:54:08

If they are doing the same topics again, at the same level, that's ridiculously poor. There may be some overlap, but not much e.g. Y4 curriculum has reading the time but Y5 only has solving problems with time.

Is there no differentiation at all? Again, I'd question that even if they claim to be following the mastery approach. The whole point of mastery is challenge for all, not a select few of middle attaining children! Your poor DD must be incredibly frustrated!

If you can, I'd see if I could talk to the maths coordinator. It may be that the Y5 teacher is a weak maths teacher. And I'd ask for some clarification about the homework. If they are meant to have weekly maths homework, for example, mathletics is clearly a cop out unless it is targeted.

Greenifer Mon 23-Jan-17 21:01:47

DD is in Y5 and good at maths. I would say she has mastered the Y5 curriculum. I tried her on some of the questions from a site with mastery and mastery in greater depth questions and she didn't even need a pencil and paper for most of them.

What her school does is that the ones who are working at greater depth tend to get open-ended challenges in lesson time which they work on in a group and discuss. They also have a by invitation only maths club once a week which looks at quite complex stuff - today they were investigating Euler's nodes problem.

I would not be happy with what you describe at all.

irvineoneohone Mon 23-Jan-17 21:10:31

Mathletics is a bit repetitive, but not too bad imo. Has she mastered all the core questions, harder and easier question in year group? Then maybe she can ask the teacher to assign her topics from year above, maybe?

Greenifer Mon 23-Jan-17 21:34:44

I think Mathletics is totally fine for younger children who need mental maths practice, btw, but awful for actually building mathematical understanding. It's make-work.

irvineoneohone Mon 23-Jan-17 21:43:56

I'm not sure if it's only for younger children though, Green.
Have you checked the question for level 10 live mathletics? according to MN secondary maths teacher, some aspect of it is actually A level topic.

RubyRedRobin Mon 23-Jan-17 22:00:15

Our school uses RMeasimaths which dc are expected to do at home.

I 'think' the way our school stretch the dc in maths is Fluency, Reasoning & then Problem Solving, so the more able dc would be stretched using problem solving, the less able would use fluency e.g.

Fluency - write down the first 5 multiples of 8. All the factors of 20. Find a common factor of 36 and 12.

Problem Solving - Polly is planting potatoes in her garden. She has 24 potatoes to plant and she will arrange them in a rectangular array.
List all the different ways that Polly can plant her potatoes.

Sally is thinking of a number. She says 'My number is a multiple of 3. It is also 3 less than a multiple of 4'
Find three different numbers that could be Sally's number.

Claire's age is a multiple of 7 and 3 less than a multiple of 8. How old is Clare?

There is also a Reasoning section which falls inbetween the two examples above.

This is the way dc are stretched according to our school. We recently had a maths evening and were given lots of info.

Greenifer Mon 23-Jan-17 22:01:35

I have not looked at it recently, I admit! But it seemed just practice practice practice the same things again and again to me, and just arithmetic, nothing remotely interesting. I don't think anything I saw on there was really aimed at building understanding, just doing questions/tasks again and again and again. I think it's a bit Kumon-like from what I have seen of it. I am sure it would help those who are interested in eg high SATS scores but I do not think it is a good tool for anyone actually interested in building mathematical understanding and fluency. I would so much rather my kid was thinking about Euler's nodes and stretching her brain than practising arithmetic with ever-increasing numbers. And I bet the Y4 Mathletics tasks are pretty much all arithmetic.

bojorojo Mon 23-Jan-17 23:27:58

Irvine - schools will not assign children work from the year above! The whole idea of mastery maths is to extend and extend within the topic for each year group. This requires a very good teacher and weaknesses in teaching maths are being shown up. This was inevitable and it is up to the school to train the teacher on this or give them a lower age group so there is less challenge. We had to do this at my school. Some teachers lack confidence but we need them to teach mastery maths and ensure the children do progress as fast as they possibly can. It is a cop out to find work from the year above and the child will not have been taught the topic so it is very risky except for possibly the very gifted.

The lessons are delivered to the whole class. However we do set for Y5 and Y6 now. Middle and high achievers in two mixed groups and lower achievers in a small group. Therefore there is a range of ability within the standard teaching groups. This has been changed from the three sets we used to have because our middle achievers were not getting 100 in Sats despite many of them being close. They also seemed to be unable to spark off each other and were lacking in confidence. One of the good things about mixing the group is that the very bright children can explain things to the ones that need a bit of help. All the research into PP funding strategies shows this as the top one for achieving better regress. We are seeing improvement in progress.

mrz Tue 24-Jan-17 06:17:54

Why not? The new National Curriculum states that children can be taught the next years PoS or even the next Key stage's.

irvineoneohone Tue 24-Jan-17 06:36:08

I hope the school does as mrz says. Teacher assigned year group work covers huge topic, but once you got 100% for everything, there's nothing else to do as proper learning. (well, there are other section like prob. solving and live mathletics, but it's more fun work rather than learning practice.)

Live mathletcs are for building mental maths speed, but at higher levels, it covers factoring polynomials and logarithms, it's definitely not arithmetic!

irvineoneohone Tue 24-Jan-17 06:39:26

But I have to admit, my ds only does mathletics because of school, he prefers other sites.

mrz Tue 24-Jan-17 06:41:09

From the maths Programme of Study

irvineoneohone Tue 24-Jan-17 06:43:54

Green, first time my ds come across logarithm he had no clue. We had a look on what they are. He found it fascinating. It's not totally boring.

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