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On a practical level - how to calm them down about maths?

(27 Posts)
DorothyL Sun 02-Apr-17 15:59:29

What do you say to your yr 11 to calm them down? Stressing won't do any good - so what wise words to get them through this?

Also, any revision material tips? Dd is using the cpg practice questions book and finds the questions so hard confused

noblegiraffe Sun 02-Apr-17 16:34:22

Lots of website links for maths revision and tips here:

Which paper are they taking, foundation or higher? What sort of grade are they looking at getting?

DorothyL Sun 02-Apr-17 16:40:06

Thank you!

Edexcel, entered for higher, predicted a 7
but currently struggling to feel confident.
The mocks went well (72 %, school called it a 7) but since then her confidence has gone down with the practice questions they do in class.
Very high entrance requirements for 6th form which puts her on edge.

gillybeanz Sun 02-Apr-17 16:41:11

Sorry to hijack your thread OP, but can noble et al recommend any websites with free resources for KS3 Maths, used to use Tes, but you have to pay now and most are suitable for class teaching, not individuals.

noblegiraffe Sun 02-Apr-17 16:53:00

Was that 72% on the November mocks, or the more recent one? Either way that's a fantastic score and if she's already achieving that highly, then she should be absolutely fine in the exam.

I imagine that they are now focused on the more difficult, problem-solving type questions in lessons, because those are the ones where most students lost marks and need work on.

The thing to get her head around with these questions is understanding that mathematicians don't expect to be able to solve problems instantly. Even maths teachers look at these problems and have to think about them a bit first, maybe do some jottings on paper before they can see the right approach to take. They will normally be more than 1 mark and so instead of looking at a question, panicking and thinking 'I don't know how to do this' she needs to look at it, take a deep breath and say 'what sorts of things can I do that might get me a few marks on this question and maybe the right answer'?

So if there's a tricky angles question - I can't find the angle that I want, but what angles can I find and do they help? If it's a curve, what if I find the area underneath? If it's a horrible algebraic fraction, what if I manipulate it a bit, will it look any better?

She already has an excellent knowledge base, so any marks gained on these last few questions will be a bonus, not a necessity.

Also, if panic is a real issue, investigate meditation apps, relaxation techniques and rescue remedy.

DorothyL Sun 02-Apr-17 16:56:34

It was the November mocks.

Thank you so much for these fantastic tips and ideas smileflowers

DorothyL Sun 02-Apr-17 16:59:08

They don't seem to be doing another mock btw

noblegiraffe Sun 02-Apr-17 17:00:59

If it was November then 72% put her well into the top 5% of those sitting that paper. I hope she is considering maths A-level!

DorothyL Sun 02-Apr-17 17:03:07

No confused
She is at a superselective in set 2 and feels she's not that good at maths hmm

DorothyL Sun 02-Apr-17 17:03:41

Though I will definitely give her a talking to!!

noblegiraffe Sun 02-Apr-17 21:32:53

feels she's not that good at maths

Argh! The consequences of being only very very good at maths in a super-selective. Looking at the data for the November mock, I'd be very surprised if she only came away with a 7 in the summer.

And give her a nudge in the direction of A-level. wink

noblegiraffe Sun 02-Apr-17 21:58:15

gilly what kind of resources are you looking for? You only have to pay for a handful of resources on TES, most are still free. I just generally google whatever topic it is I'm looking for followed by KS3 worksheet!

There are links to a bunch of great maths resource websites at the bottom of the list here:

gillybeanz Mon 03-Apr-17 11:50:30

Thanks noble

I have no idea as apart from long multiplication i have no idea what she is struggling with, so I suppose it's lots of various worksheets rather than a specific topic at this point.
With such low marks I think it's pretty much all topics.
Thanks again. thanks

mnistooaddictive Tue 04-Apr-17 03:54:05

If you want worksheets I would recommend corbettmaths. Google it. Full of worksheets and videos showing them how to do it. All free and a growing online textbook.

Aliveinwanderland Tue 04-Apr-17 03:56:39

A really good revision resource here-

DorothyL Mon 17-Apr-17 17:02:20

Aaargh dd still in tears every time she does maths revision sad

She just did a practice paper she got from somewhere and got 62 % and feels she's failing because on the old style she was A*...

WhatHaveIFound Mon 17-Apr-17 17:07:15

Do they have any catch up/maths support classes at school that she could join? My DD is doing higher level this year (Y10) and was in full on panic mode until she'd done several practice papers and we'd arranged for some 1:1 tution in school. Once someone had worked througha few more papers with her she started to get a little more confident.

DorothyL Mon 17-Apr-17 19:47:25

Thank you x

Hoping for some soothing words from noblegiraffe confused

OhYouBadBadKitten Mon 17-Apr-17 19:56:20

which practise paper did she do Dorothy?

She might be better off doing single topic papers if the practise papers are upsetting her, there are a fair few in the new style here but you need to pay for answers, maths genie also has lots of topic papers, but they are mostly old style.
more here

If the new ratio questions are proving to be a nuisance there is some advice ratio I've not found a good resource for this yet.

DorothyL Mon 17-Apr-17 20:58:52

Thank you that looks good

DorothyL Tue 18-Apr-17 22:08:13

Did some more today and she was feeling a bit happier today, long may it continue

noblegiraffe Wed 19-Apr-17 12:36:40

She just did a practice paper she got from somewhere and got 62 %

Random practice papers will not be of the same quality or even difficulty as the final paper (even if they are from Edexcel). One other thing to remember is that the mark schemes for these practice papers are not very good, it's very frustrating even as a teacher to use them. If she is marking the paper herself, she is very likely sticking to the mark scheme when actually in the real thing marks would be given for alternative methods which are not listed on the mark scheme.

If she would have been an A* candidate on the old scheme, and especially as she scored so highly in November, she will do really well in June so long as she doesn't panic, and keeps chipping away at her revision.

bigTillyMint Wed 19-Apr-17 12:46:14

Noble, have you seen the feedback on the Edexel trial maths papers. DH had the info yesterday. He was talking about the average score percentage for both foundation and higher being in the 30's IIRC.

noblegiraffe Wed 19-Apr-17 12:58:37

Yes that's right, the mean mark was 30% for both. It won't be that low in the real thing because pupils will have improved since November, but also because schools should have shifted a not-insignificant number of pupils from Higher to Foundation.

bigTillyMint Wed 19-Apr-17 13:48:48

What do you reckon it might be Noble?

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