Maths Whizz maths age

(16 Posts)
Hiddeninplainsight Sun 25-Mar-18 13:38:15

I was just wondering if anyone had used Maths Whizz, and how your kids found it - was it fun/challenging (e.g. not just repeating the same exercises over and over)? Did you think the Maths age was reasonably accurate? We have signed up for the free trial and i’m just curious. How does it compare to other similar maths programs? Thanks!

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gfrnn Sun 25-Mar-18 14:27:59

It's a good product - quite varied, quite engaging/interactive. It "teaches" the content fairly well though there are some gaps (it introduced division problems without first teaching it).
It's not quite stand-alone - kids need extra practice outside the content offered to memorise times tables, number bonds etc. the squeebles apps are good for this.
It covers material up to year 8 - it's a bit irritating that it doesn't fully cover KS3, but what it does cover, it covers well.
In terms of alternatives, the main one is conquermaths which is also good, but slightly more traditional - short video tutorials. The others (mathletics, ixl) that 'I've come across don't really "teach". conquermaths goes up to A level but doesn't cover the full (a level) course.
In our case we found the maths age was accurate i.e. it lined up very well with the results of other assessments. to within a few months. Obviously that's a single data point and might not always be true.
We have now used mathswhizz for 2 kids - both of them liked it. the older one has now switched to conquermaths as he's gone above what mathswhizz can provide.
My suggestion would be to use mathwhizz for primary level material and conquermaths for secondary. Once the maths age hits 12 in all areas they've covered the KS2 curriculum.
The apps by dragonbox are also worth a look, particularly the algebra one, providing the age group is suitable.

Hiddeninplainsight Sun 25-Mar-18 14:35:52

That is so helpful gfrnn! Thanks so much!! My DD is loving the trial (she loves the study and wants a cat!!) but given what you have said, she will be reaching the ceiling of the program on a fair amount. She keeps getting stuff which is just below her level. I will have a look at conquer maths. She needs something that will teach, so that sounds like it may be a good option.

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sirfredfredgeorge Sun 25-Mar-18 23:07:56

Can I ask how you can have a "Maths age" ? I'm completely confused by ages on reading too, but at least I can imagine the idea that you're expected to acquire so many words per year, so your vocabulary would correspond to that.

Maths though, there are multiple strands, we had the question the other day about the simultaneous equation and the reflection/rotation reversal, both were said to be ones that the same age group would struggle on. My DD could do one trivially, and didn't have a clue where to begin on the other, neither was due to age though, but because someone (actually I think the CBBC website puzzles but with fruit) had introduced her to the equation, but never the graphing.

Isn't maths age, just going to be "things you have been introduced to" - ie the current curriculum, moderated downwards by anything you didn't understand enough to answer?

user789653241 Mon 26-Mar-18 09:11:25

I think so, sir. But just because you are introduced, does not mean everyone get it. And maths is subject easy to self study if you want to, so you can keep going forward if you have right tool.
Your dd got it because she was able to understand the concept, regardless of her age. Also if she was introduced the idea of reflection and translation, and meaning of x and y axis(there are fun games these days that introduce them to small children as more easier concepts), I would imagine she would get it too.
But maybe some children don't get it like she did.

Hiddeninplainsight Mon 26-Mar-18 09:45:44

Sirfred the Maths age is calculated from a very long ‘assessment’ that the kids can do if you sign up for the trial. Basically, it goes through a lot of maths, all sorts of different areas, and gets harder as the kids ‘pass’ the maths at a certain stage.

It therefore looks at what they have been taught, and also the extent to which they can apply the concepts. If you think about fractions, for example, in y2 they are taught basics, y3 gives a bit more and so on up the years. Some kids get it fast and apply their knowledge beyond what is taught, some kids get a solid understanding but don’t extend beyond without further instruction, and some take a longer time to consolidate. You can work out if a child is in those ‘levels’. I think that the test also does have some very short tutorials in it. This is where i’m not sure. At some level, that means the child understands the question. They then have to apply the knowledge, and the questions still get harder, beyond the initial explanation. As such, the ‘assessment’ explores what they know, and how they can apply concepts. But I wasn’t sure how that impacts on the accuracy of the ‘maths age’. In terms of how they calculate it, I think the age is based on how the topics match the NC. Although I also believe it is an average. If I wanted to pay £19.99 I could get a break down of scores on each area it covers. But, I thought asking mumsnet mums might give some idea of overall accuracy for free. It is impossible to really have an idea of whether it is a roughly realistic estimate or a grossly inaccurate one, but other people’s opinions are useful.

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sirfredfredgeorge Mon 26-Mar-18 11:59:05

Thanks, so it's a good way of measuring performance against the NC, that actually makes some sense as an age, although I'd prefer it described like that, but then as I said I find the idea that "X age" is just generally odd.


Hiddeninplainsight Mon 26-Mar-18 18:47:25

Sirfred I do agree. It would make more sense to give a class level, so say, Y4.5. Because you can have different ages in a class.

I have to add, my DS7 is loving Maths Whizz.

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gfrnn Mon 26-Mar-18 22:49:44

To get the class level, just subtract 6 from the quoted maths age, so e.g. maths age 12 = (end of ) year 6. The maximum maths age (14) corresponds to end of Y8.
More generally, any trait which varies monotonically through childhood can be mapped to an equivalent age. You could speak of a shoe size age or a height age. It just means you are at the average (mean or median, depending on the test designer's choice) level for that age group.
For the case of reading the common tests measure decoding. i.e. how many words out of a fixed list of 100-150 can the child sound out correctly. Comprehension is a bit more subjective but there are tests like the Nelson PM benchmarks which test both literal and inferential comprehension.
For maths, there are many areas of competency. mathswhizz does break it down into about 10 ? areas. the overall maths age is the mean of these individual scores. My impression is it was fairly decent. There are more detailed specialist 1:1 assessments like keymath3 which also test about a dozen different areas and give age equivalents for each area and an overall age equivalent.

Hiddeninplainsight Mon 26-Mar-18 23:19:48

Ah, interesting gfrnn. So they attach their calculation to the oldest possible child in a class. Given you aren’t 12 until year 7, if that only covers the end of year 6 work it is still a bit misleading. It would make much more sense to give a school year place mark, in my view. Then they wouldn’t have to explain the way she was calculated. But either way, it is useful to understand how it works smile. Thank you!

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user789653241 Tue 27-Mar-18 11:21:26

By the way, just wanted to say hi, Hidden. Haven't seen you for while. I just hope everything is going ok for your children! And hope to cross pass again soon!

Hiddeninplainsight Tue 27-Mar-18 18:31:57

[waves] hello Irvine! I do lurking, reading, send you mental hellos and smiles when I read your posts. How is your DS? Is your DS secondary bound next year? I hope you have some good options. I am quickly losing hope that anything will ever change for DD, and have kind of decided that maths outside school may be the solution. She loved the algebra on Maths Whizz (although the study and earning points to buy a cat she loved even more), so I will see if she can get some fun from learning that, and other bits. xx

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Arkadia Sun 01-Apr-18 11:29:11

We have tried the assessment for a bit of... "Fun".
To me they pick the number out of a hat. Both my DDs came out the same and interestingly made pretty much the same mistakes in the assessment (primarily sums and multiplications in column as the way they are presented is very confusing - to us).
So now they are trying the "free lessons" and, for now, they are identical for both and rather easy indeed (especially for ththi

Arkadia Sun 01-Apr-18 11:32:50

Oops... Meant to say "especially for their alleged maths age".

Is it worth the money when there is Khan that is free? To me probably not, as it is quite a bit of money...

sazzleevans Sun 08-Apr-18 10:39:48

All 3 of mine have used it for almost a year. I didn't realise how far they were all behind. My kids are 8,8 and 7. One has specials needs. The eldest who was I would say one class year behind have both caught up. They have averaged a 1.9-year increase in maths age over the year!!

sazzleevans Sun 08-Apr-18 10:44:11

You have to stick with it! I was so concerned mine did it for a minimum of 35 minutes a week for a year!! My eldest who I know is capable is now where she should be in class and is enjoying maths too. The middle one has caught up but still needs to improve but thankfully hasnt fallen further behind and my youngest is just in love with numbers!! I like that you can plug kids in and monitor progress. You have to commit to it though.

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