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Grid Method for multiplication - are your pupils weaned off it by end of year five?

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by mounthood, Sep 10, 2011.

  1. Maths_Mike

    Maths_Mike New commenter

    I am sure the majority of primary teachers work just as hard as I do. I am sure they are just as skilled (if not more so) and I admire there ability to teach a diverse and wide range of subjects.
    However if after 5 or 6 years of formal education children still cant recall simple table facts or have the ability to apply the four rules of numbers to integers then something has to be going wrong.
  2. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    Agreed. But it seems to me this isn't the fault of the Primary teachers who are slaves to their Curriculum just as we are slaves to the Secondary one.

    They have to push kids up the levels before they have mastered the basics just as we do.
  3. Maths_Mike

    Maths_Mike New commenter

    couldnt agree more - they get level 4 / 5 or whatever on the back of a bit of statistics / shape and space and algebra (i.e a+a _2a with no understanding) yet cant do basic arithmetic.
    But I dont blame our primary colleagues as you i blame the system and principly league tables which were / are one of the worst things ever to have happened to education
  4. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    Have you seen a KS2 sats paper? Not much shape and space nor statistics. Lots of UAM. Have you seen a KS2 mental maths test?

  5. DM

    DM New commenter

    The ratios are:
    20% MA1 (distributed across the other attainment targets)
    40% MA2
    20% MA3
    20% MA4
    Number only constitutes half of the test.
  6. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    Having seen a lot of KS2 SATs papers and done lots of them with children, you do need a good knowledge of numbers and calculations to get a L4. Whether they can do a quick method is different - you would not believe some of the approaches I have seen to division and multiplication.
    But people are right - there is a lot of pressure on Y6 teachers to get those L4s so children are coached and spend Y6 getting ready for them. And a real development and core understanding of maths is lost as they are taught to the test. Probably the kind of pressure that existed for KS3 SATs and with GCSEs exists. I ask myself how children don't do as well as GCSE despite MANY years of education.
    So instead of blaming primary teachers, KS1 teachers or even Reception teachers, maybe we should just look at the whole maths curriculum and the whole stupid continually making progress without just spending time consolidating knowledge and understanding which we can't do because we always have to show people that progress is being made.
    That's the real problem - not enough time just to practice and use skills. I bet it's the same in secondary. How confident are you that your pupils really get something before you move onto something else and then return to it later on in the year or even next year?

  7. I haven't read all the posts as I don't have the time, but I certainly encourage the grid method for multiplication at gcse level, especially after being told to by a chief examiner from edexcel! She told us to only use the grid method as full marks will be lost if a mistake is made in long multiplication (conceptual error) but if an error is made in the grid method (computational error) then some marks can still be gained.
    It's a no brainer really, when we are judged by the A* - C passes we get. Why would anyone want to risk the grades being lowered when there's such a simple solution?
  8. Does this mean that you teach the way you do because you're pretty sure it doesn't work? ;)
  9. DeborahCarol

    DeborahCarol New commenter

    Paul DG:
    Nor did I then. Why bother with log tables, I thought? Why waste time in primary learning times tables and doing all that repetitive long multiplication and division.
    Now I know better..
    Now I know I can't teach kids how to do basic fractions because they simply don't know what cancelling down is all about. I know I'm expected to teach factors, prime factor decomposition and I find it all uphill because they can't divide by anything.

    Oh Paul DG, I echo your words. Did anyone see the Year 11 (nothing wrong with his general intelligence, as far as I could see) struggle to do '12 divided by 3' last night on 'Educating Essex'?
    The head prompted him to use his 3x tables. To no avail - he didn't know them. In the end he had to say (with encouragement) 3 - 6 - 9 - 12....until he got to the answer of 4. (He was struggling with algebra...)
    PLEASE, primary school teachers reading this, have your children CHANTING tables from Year 3 latest. It is cruel not to! There is NO more efficient way of learning them! Chant forwards, chant backwards. Make sure they all join in. Then, yes, 'pick on' children to answer random questions!
    This way children learn their tables, and are then well-equipped to learn multiplication and division. I have proved this in my own teaching of 15 years. Tables is something even the most mathematically-challenged can do. In fact, it's one of the things they can feel proud of early on.

  10. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    Let me assure you - primary teachers do want their children to learn tables. And of course we know that tables are essential to multiplying, division and fractions.
    But one of the key problems is - yes they can still do their tables but then ask them what 13 x 4 is and that stumps them.
    So what have they learnt?


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