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Oh the agony! School maths tests

(18 Posts)
Bags Fri 28-Sep-12 08:23:47

DD has a maths test today and was fretting about it. We did a couple of typical examples of what she'll have to do. Her mathematical thinking is fine so I wish she wouldn't stress. I emphasised the importance of writing working down – at least half the marks are for working rather than answers.

She finds reading, writing, arty and creative subjects easy, and science fascinating, but maths she finds a bit hard. I keep trying to reassure her that maths is hard so it's OK to find it so! Hey ho.

Greatnan Fri 28-Sep-12 09:15:00

I loved maths (still do) but I do understand the probems that some people have. It is such a 'ladder' subject, that if you are away the week the teacher does, say, long division, you may struggle with it for the rest of your life.
A well as volunteering for the Adult Literacy Scheme, I also taught basic maths to adults and it was surprising how many men (not many women applied) who came to my classes were holding down quite senior management posts. We started at the very beginning, with an explanation of the place value system. I also gave courses for teachers in primary schools, many of whom were still a bit afraid of maths themselves. A teacher who is enthusiastic and loves the subject can help to overcome many of the problems that some children have. It seems that many teachers of maths in secondary schools do not have any specialist knowledge or training, which is a pity.

glassortwo Fri 28-Sep-12 09:36:23

Oh greantna dont mention long division I moved schools frequently with parents in the RAF and attended 13 school and the day they did long division I must have been on route somewhere else. I still get shivers when I think of it. I did tell all new schools that I was unable to do long division but not once did someone sit me down and explain the process. sad

Grannylin Fri 28-Sep-12 09:42:12

Maths memories give me the shivers too!Geometry exams were the worst.I used to sit just copying whatever everyone else picked up...compass,ruler,protractor with no idea what to do with them.Don't know how people do Sudoku for pleasuresad

annodomini Fri 28-Sep-12 09:54:29

I could do maths, picked up the concepts quickly but got bored. Why do maths when I could be reading a book? GD, aged 10 has the same attitude, unfortunately - her mother is a very good maths teacher and young brother a bit of a maths whizz. She missed the first four questions of a maths test because she was reading a book under the table. Need I say more?

Butternut Fri 28-Sep-12 10:01:44

How to have a life-long blank about maths:

1. Sit at one of the old double desks next to your twin
2. Wait for the teacher to walk from one desk to the next testing mental arithmatic and timing the answers of the two sitting next to one another and awarding the fastest.
3. Teacher arrives at our desk.
4. Teacher gives you the question
5. Twin always wins the speed test, but I often got the right answer too, but failed.
6. Twin goes on to do Pure Maths at Univ.
7. I remember deliberately giving up!

I would very much like to meet that teacher today! angry

Right - off shopping - totting up as I go along. Maybe I'm not so bad after all! grin

vampirequeen Fri 28-Sep-12 10:13:11

Tests don't show what you can do they only show what people who didn't panic or weren't ill could do on the day. I remember failing a test at school in the old £sd days because for some reason I did them as ordinary HTU. It wasn't that I couldn't do £sd I just got it wrong at that moment in time.

Bags Fri 28-Sep-12 10:40:00

DD said one of her pals, whose mum is a maths teacher at the school, wasn't allowed to go to the school performance of West Side Story this week because she had to "revise" for the maths test today. These kids are eleven and twelve years old!! Mad!! (I can say that cos I'm a maths teacher too). Poor kid. Fancy having that hanging over you — have to do well, not for my sake, but for mum's. Huh! angry

Mamie Fri 28-Sep-12 10:47:56

I am still quite bitter about the awful maths teaching that I had at school. I really had to work hard after I had left to get up to standard. It seemed that English, art, music and history were terribly important, but maths didn't really matter much for girls. It was a very arty-farty school. hmm

glammanana Fri 28-Sep-12 11:00:56

My two youngest DGCs are 9 and 10,youngest one just needs to be shown once and he has it all sussed out with no problems the older one has problems with remembering everything she is taught and gets herself all worked up and upset so there is no way she can work out what she is doing,we have tried many ways to settle her down and asked for extra help but we are told there is no extra support available for her.She has no problems with any other subjects in fact she is one of the high achievers in English and science classes she just can't understand maths poor little thing.

absentgrana Fri 28-Sep-12 13:02:27

I loved geometry and algebra when I was at school but found arithmetic tedious. However, I never progressed beyond O level maths, although sixth formers doing arts and languages had to go to a weekly class that we called "maths for idiots" where we did look at some maths that was completely new to us.

Grannylin Sudoku isn't maths; it's very simple logic. You could create exactly the same puzzles with letters A–I or pictures of nine different fruits, items of clothing, swatches of colours, etc.

absentgrana Fri 28-Sep-12 13:06:26

While I was in New Zealand, I set the older two grandchildren (8 and 10) a couple of maths puzzles with a prize of $10 for each one they solved. This was all going very well until my eldest grandson stayed overnight at his grandfather's (ex-Mr absent), taking the current puzzle with him. Next morning ex-Mr absent wandered in with grandson and said, "Was I right that they were Fibonacci numbers?" Grandson, of course, missed out on his $10.

Greatnan Fri 28-Sep-12 16:56:39

A love of reading and a love of maths are not mutually exclusive. I did a BEd with joint honours in Maths and Engl. Lit. and taught both.

Bags Fri 28-Sep-12 17:03:33

Similarly, I did Eng Lit at uni first and then maths with the Open Uni. Always regretted not doing maths A level, you see.

kittylester Fri 28-Sep-12 17:04:47

How did DD do Bags

I loved maths! Long division is, to me, like doing a puzzle and I really enjoyed it when the children had maths homework and got stuck. I wonder if that's why I like doing puzzles now?

Bags Fri 28-Sep-12 18:37:38

"Oh, it was allright," was her answer, "but I don't get significant places." smile

glassortwo Fri 28-Sep-12 18:53:20

Sounds to have gone alright then bags grin

goldengirl Fri 28-Sep-12 21:29:05

I was in the bottom stream for maths at school which meant that we had all the student/new/rubbish teachers until I was just about to take my O level and then we had a fantastic teacher. This dear man saw our little groups dilemma and spent hours after school with us trying to din in 5+ years of maths and bless him, he tried to make it fun. Sadly but not surprisingly I failed my maths O level, but not for the want of trying. At least I got a grade! This teacher gave me a love of numbers - it's just that I don't know what to do with them grin.
I went on to become a primary school teacher - wouldn't be allowed today - and was very careful how I taught the maths in my class with, I have to say, quite a bit of success as I recognised in those who feared the subject, a little of myself.