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Maths help!

(23 Posts)
Wolfiefan Thu 06-Apr-17 20:08:52

Ex teacher but been out the classroom a while and could do with some up to date advice.
DC in Y9. Feels Maths isn't going well. Spoke to subject teacher. Suggestion was ask a friend or maybe move down a set confused
I'm getting the "what do you want me to do? I have 30 in a class and we don't have money for 121 help."
I get that a teacher can't spend half an hour with one child. But I know my school would have expected interventions in my subject in this situation.
If you are a secondary Maths teacher are there any easy and effective interventions you would do within a classroom setting? Or am I asking for the moon on a stick?!
Thanks for any answers.

AlexanderHamilton Thu 06-Apr-17 20:14:43

Not a teacher but ds's school run subject support sessions if a child is struggling in a particular aspects. Ussully at lunchtime in either small groups or the occasional 1:1 session.

Wolfiefan Thu 06-Apr-17 20:16:26

They run after school sessions once a week. Been doing those. This week was a waste of time. Child in detention took all the support. hmm

Allthebestnamesareused Thu 06-Apr-17 20:20:19

Our school also runs lunchtime "clinics" in certain subjects mainly STEM and English where you can drop in. Sometimes it is the teacher and usually a couple of 6th Formers doing A level.

Perhaps ask the teacher if there is an older child who could mentor him?

Wolfiefan Thu 06-Apr-17 20:56:08

There was a 6th former in the last drop in session but they couldn't do the work either.

monkeysox Thu 06-Apr-17 21:03:30

Use keshmaths takeaway website for practice questions and most answers are right.
Mymaths.co.uk if the school have it.
BBC bitesize.
Mathswatch if school have a log in.

monkeysox Thu 06-Apr-17 21:03:56

They're things you can do yourself. Also speak to the teacher

monkeysox Thu 06-Apr-17 21:04:33

Again. Or head of year?

highinthesky Thu 06-Apr-17 21:08:07

Go to the HoD instead. Show concern for this poor overwhelmed teacher who cannot cope with a class oof 30.

Maths is one subject where a score of 100% is achievable as the answers are subject to less debate, and maths teachers usually take a huge pride in getting children to understand the methodology so they can work the answers out for themselves.

If the school can't offer support and you don't want DC to move down a set, then perhaps its time to do a bit of home tutoring.

TheFlyingFauxPas Thu 06-Apr-17 21:12:33

What are his results like? Ds has tests about 5 times a year so can kind if see where he is. Maybe he feels he's not getting it but he is. It could be just one particular area. Have you tried some skills check type tests with him?

TheFlyingFauxPas Thu 06-Apr-17 21:15:23

If he does need more help moving set may be really positive. There's sometimes even less pupils/ more resources as they're a little more targeted. My ds is also in year 9. They move everything round again for the start of GCSEs

Wolfiefan Thu 06-Apr-17 21:15:51

Tried HOD. Response is he is making progress in line with expectations. Happy to meet him and tell him.
Teacher is great apparently. Teacher who gave him a problem and (after he struggled) said "shouldn't have given you that. It had a typo and is unsolvable" FFS
Lessons seem to be teacher doing lots of demos and modelling and then a few minutes for students to try it. shock
He is doing the extra sessions at school and using sites recommended. He really doesn't want a tutor. confused

Wolfiefan Thu 06-Apr-17 21:16:29

X post.
Moving set would be crap. Lower set has behavioural issues and we have even less faith in that teacher.

Wolfiefan Thu 06-Apr-17 21:18:33

X post again.
Flying my maths skills are crap. I really can't help.
Last test he needed a set of formula he hadn't been given before the test.
Last year they were testing them on stuff they hadn't taught at the start of the term (so they all failed) Then at the end of the term retesting so they could show progress for OFSTED. Really disheartening for students.

Scabetty Thu 06-Apr-17 21:23:04

Tutor. I had to cave in and get dd one after school said I should blame the government for a lack of good Maths teachers (supply teacher was unable to control class). Dd met tutor and loved her as she was a 1st year Maths student. She basically went over class stuff that teacher didn't have time to do and dd gained confidence. She is yr 11 now and predicted a grade 8 in gcse.

Wolfiefan Thu 06-Apr-17 21:32:38

I have suggested a tutor but he really is having none of it. He's an able student and already doing home study and extra stuff in school. He volunteers and does sport and other activities. Forcing him to have a tutor feels like punishing him because the teacher can't do their job.
Credit to all the teachers who are working fucking hard and help students like my boy. Thankfully many of his other subjects are taught by just such committed professionals.

monkeysox Thu 06-Apr-17 21:47:58

Year 9 Is the gcse course in recent schools I've worked in.
I'd get a tutor if no joy from head of dept.

Scabetty Thu 06-Apr-17 22:07:33

I would leave it open with him, tutor if you need one, let me know type of thing. If year 10 gets stressful he can have a rethink.

highinthesky Thu 06-Apr-17 22:46:40

my maths skills are crap. I really can't help.

I don't get this. You were a teacher and you don't have the skills to reacquaint yourself with maths a 13 yo is required to learn? It's not a huge ask, pick up a text book and teach yourself.

Wolfiefan Thu 06-Apr-17 23:33:05

@highinthesky
That's bloody unhelpful but thanks anyway. You have no idea why I'm not in a position to do as you suggest. (Far too personal to share on here.) Even if I did I doubt I would use the same approaches as they did in class. But thanks for the judgy and aggressive post. confused

highinthesky Fri 07-Apr-17 02:16:29

It's neither judgemental nor aggressive. If my DC was struggling I would be pulling all the stops out and if it meant home tutoring in a subject I hated I would do it. I've picked up A-level study guides in subjects I haven't studied and become familiar with the material fast, and I thought a teacher would have a natural advantage here.

Interestingly it's those subjects I didn't enjoy at school I find the most fascinating now. I can see now I just wasn't mature enough to be bothered then. So it's worth challenging yourself sometimes.

Wolfiefan Fri 07-Apr-17 07:06:33

@highinthesky
It is a huge ask and for a variety of reasons I am unable to do it. As you have no helpful suggestions to make I shall ignore you.

toomuchicecream Fri 07-Apr-17 11:40:44

Agree about tutor. I've heard of too many people recently having sons who've been turned off Maths at secondary school, despite it having been a strength at primary, because they can't access their school Maths lessons the way their teacher is teaching. Too much copying from the board/listening to oral explanations from the teacher and then being expecting to sit and work their way through abstract examples, rather than having the opportunity to explore a concept in different ways, using different concrete and pictorial representations to help make sense of the abstract. Sadly, it's not at all surprising given how many schools are struggling to recruit Maths teachers and so many many non-specialists find themselves teaching the subject. And given the pressure on school budgets, a school isn't going to put any kind of intervention in place for a child who is meeting their targets - the limited amount of support available will be focused on those who aren't making progress. So, in answer to your original question, if you want the school to do anything differently I think you are asking for the moon on a stick.

The school will have already made hard decisions about the allocation of scarce resources. They may well be aware of the problems faced by your son and others taught by his teacher. But their hands are tied - they will already be doing the best they can with the time, money and staff they have available. I'm sure the HOD won't be happy with the current situation, but if another option was out there then they would have taken it already.

What you really don't want is for him to develop anxiety about Maths, the idea that he can't do it, as that will cause even greater problems. It will become a self fulfilling prophesy - he'll get worried/panic/upset and then his brain will go into lock down and then he really won't be able to do it. So to prevent this, I can only see that you have 3 options - tutor him yourself, get a tutor for him or support him to self study (eg use websites like those listed above, or Khan academy, or hegarty maths). Only you can decide which of those options will work best for you and your son.

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