# Talk

## Year 6 Maths teachers

(17 Posts)
StarUtopia Wed 26-Apr-17 20:36:23

Homework questions

489 divided by 89

7 and 3/7 subtract 2 and 4/5

Is it just me, or are those ridiculous examples to give as homework?

Surely, as a teacher you work out the inverse first to check your answer is one they can aim for (so say, 306 divided by 24 is 12.75) so they are able to practice their long division skills?

As for the fractions one. Don't have an issue with finding the LCM of 35 but it ends up being large mixed numbers with a lot of dividing etc. Surely we should just be doing things like 7 and 3/4 minus 5 and a third (or something!)

MooPointCowsOpinion Wed 26-Apr-17 20:37:45

I like both those questions. Do you mean they're too hard for year 6?

StarUtopia Wed 26-Apr-17 20:51:26

No. Not too hard but these have been given to a child who is struggling to add and subtract fractions and do long division.

How are these good practice questions?

Surely it would make more sense to have say 5 long division questions which involve 4 or 5 carry downs (so a fair bit of working out), and possibly go over the decimal point but end with a 'normal' answer of say 126.75. No guidance was given (give your answer to 2 or 3 dps)

With a week to go to SATS i just think it's poor homework to send out. (those were just two questions. The other 7 questions were equally random)

StarUtopia Wed 26-Apr-17 20:56:18

I just feel something like this is more appropriate for practising fractions..

Allthebestnamesareused Wed 26-Apr-17 21:02:54

But surely they will have been given to the whole class?

Cerberusia Wed 26-Apr-17 21:08:39

Long division and adding mixed numbers are both on the Yr 6 syllabus. And both are also likely to come up on the arithmetic SATs paper. I agree that the first question isn't the best to give to a child needing to work on long division - purely because there isn't much long division to actually practice with that one! It's not hard to work out though. All Yr 6s should know how to easily x a number by 10. If you x 89 by 10 you get 890. Then half of that is 445 so 89 goes into 489 5 times.

I don't think there is anything wrong with the second question at all. It's very standard. I was doing similar with MA Yr 6s today as revision. Many of them find it easier to convert mixed numbers into improper fractions before attempting the calculation. Does your DD do that?

The examples you give are far too easy for most Yr 6 students. I would expect Yr 5 to be able to mangage those without difficulty.

StarUtopia Wed 26-Apr-17 21:27:07

Where does it say you would simply give the answer as 5?

I can't think on any past paper where a long division question has a divisor of 89?! 2 digit divisor, yes but normally something more workable such as say 24. I would also expect where a large answer comes out to be given direction such as, 'Give your answer to 2 decimal places'

As for the fractions, the examples on the paper itself (past papers) are no harder than those. I agree Year 5 should be able to do them. Don't have an issue with that. My issue is giving examples that end up with large mixed numbers that you then need to boil down again and again. Why? They would never get that on the actual paper so what's the point?

The workings out for these questions were so long and drawn out. Talk about putting kids off maths!

I'm just asking as I would have thought a Year 6 teacher would be checking their examples 'worked' and gave good opportunities for working out before giving them out. This homework just smacks of having been made up on the spot without any thought for what the answer is going to be?

ps. Those examples are from a KS3 piece of work! (but don't start me on that)

StarUtopia Wed 26-Apr-17 21:34:25

Could someone show me the workings out then pls for the fraction one?

Just seems a lot of work for a small question...

wineusuallyhelps Wed 26-Apr-17 21:56:00

The answer is 4 and 22/35...I think!

Convert to LCD fractions which becomes 7 and 15/35 subtract 2 and 28/35

Then you can do the subtraction. Take the 2 wholes away. 5 and 15/35. Then take the 28/35 away?

StarUtopia Wed 26-Apr-17 22:24:57

I got that too.

But it's still 35 x 5 plus the 15 to give 190 over 25 subtract 28 over 35. Then 162 over 35 to work out as a mixed number.

Which, when you write all that working out down properly, seems a hell of a lot of messing about for what should be a simple fractions question?

SkeletonSkins Wed 26-Apr-17 22:27:49

I teach y6, both questions pretty standard. The division one, 89 is maybe a bit random but it's doable. I'd just give a remainder - perfectly acceptable.

Fractions one is totally standard and expected. The type of fraction question you have posted is present towards the start of the arithmetic paper, but the ones later on are mixed numbers. I've included a similar example from last years paper.

SkeletonSkins Wed 26-Apr-17 22:29:14

It might be a bit more complicated but to be honest it's not far enough away from what they're expected to do anyway to make any fuss about. It's just a larger common denominator.

StarUtopia Wed 26-Apr-17 22:34:06

Would you not do long division and work across the decimal point?

SkeletonSkins Wed 26-Apr-17 23:00:26

No, not necessary. In fact in the arithmetic, the more complex division questions won't have remainders (and my class have been taught to use short division for them anyway!)

noblegiraffe Wed 26-Apr-17 23:03:53

I don't add or subtract mixed numbers by converting to top heavy because as you say the numbers involved can be huge. I do it this way in the photo. Some kids don't like it because of the negative fraction but some find it much easier.

Agree the questions are crap for someone who needs solid practice of the basics.

SkeletonSkins Wed 26-Apr-17 23:09:40

Oooo noble thanks for sharing that method, I like it and think my class will too.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Thu 27-Apr-17 00:14:41

The other option is to convert one of the wholes into a fraction rather than having to deal with a huge numbers.

So 7 15/35 becomes 6 50/35.

Then do 6-4=2 and 50/35 - 28/35 = 22/35.

Avoids the negative fraction but needs a good understanding both fractions and of place value and regrouping in whole numbers before you try it.

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