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raising standards in primary maths

Discussion in 'Primary' started by groovyshell83, Jul 21, 2007.

  1. groovyshell83

    groovyshell83 Occasional commenter

    Hi. I have been put in charge of raising the standards in ks2 for maths in my school. I was wondering what resources are out there to help me do this or any tips. We have been thinking about problem solving times during early morning work or maths wall in the school. Any ideas/books/ activties would be fantastic please
  2. groovyshell83

    groovyshell83 Occasional commenter

    Hi. I have been put in charge of raising the standards in ks2 for maths in my school. I was wondering what resources are out there to help me do this or any tips. We have been thinking about problem solving times during early morning work or maths wall in the school. Any ideas/books/ activties would be fantastic please
  3. look at purchasing software from Andrell Education
    10 Maths Miracles
    Number Crunch Bunch

    Also look at Spinners software and maths resources on www.trinityeducational.co.uk
  4. do you have a break down of levels achieved and areas of weakness at the moment? You need to do an audit of topics and see if there is a school probvlem anywhere.
  5. My personal hate is the grid methods for working out addition, subtraction, division and multiplication. My objection to them is twofold. First, no one can give me any evidence that children understand better what they are doing than when they use traditional linear methods; my bright and good at maths children certainly didn't because I asked them.

    Bright children will work either method out for themselves eventually but you don't need to understand a method to be able to do it, just as you don't need to know how a piano works in order to be able to play it. Second, the grid methods are wide open to mistakes being made. It's easy to put the wrong number in the wrong box. A linear method is much less easy to mess up. I can't understand why it's supposed to be better to teach children different ways of doing sums instead of the one way which is reliable, easy to remember and harder to do wrong. My nephew came home from secondary school in year 7 with a brilliant 'new' way of doing multiplication, so simple and easy. Guess what it was? Yes, the linear way. I was reading for a year 6 boy in SATs and it really upset me to see him dithering over which number to put in which box of his grid, aside from it taking him ages to draw the wretched thing in the first place.

    If children were taught one, decent method to do each kind of sum and then had loads of practice they'd get really good. The bright ones would realise eventually what they were actually doing and the less bright ones would have a reliable method. Duh.
  6. In ou Key stage 2 classes we use the Schofield and Sims mental arithmetic books. The children complete them for the first 10 minutes of the day during registration time. The pages are split into 3 sections - the idea is that they complete a section a day and then check through them on Thursday. The books are marked together on Friday in differentiated groups - the children can work in different books or later on in the books.
    I think it has had a big impact on our standards - the children revisit topics regularly. They are exposed to lots of different maths vocabulary and they are encouraged to show their working out which is good preparation for end of KS2 tests.
    Our results have improved - 92% level 4 and above with 61% level 5 - we're not a leafy school - 40% FSM!
    If you want any more info - let me know.

    Other useful resources are the Problem Solving Toolkit books. The mathsphere booster CD resources are also useful for Y6 (on offer at the moment I think). Testbase is invaluable for year 6 as well.
  7. Scrap the numeracy hour...In an hours lesson...chn work for MINIMUM 30 mins in books...practising methods/solving problems etc...LOTS of self/peer marking...the 30 mins can be split into 15 mins each...e.g intro..independant work...intro..independant work...worked for our school...75% of chn in ks2 made accelerated progress (mimimum 3 sub-levels)58% of these made a whole levels progress...this was implemented by myself as sole maths teacher across ks2 from Feb 07.
  8. To gambit

    Did that work because you were the sole teacher so all classes had the same enthusiastic delivery?? or because everyone adopted your method in the same way?

  9. babybloomer i liked your original link thanks for that have been looking at 24 game as something similar. we do our own challenge at moment re numberbonds tables etc but think its too low key and no fun.
    gambit not sure i understand what youre saying dont your children normally do min of 30 mins work in a maths lesson? I suspect you doing all the maths could be more key than design of lesson
    Not sure i agree re dislike of grid method, understanding what youre doing makes the application of maths a lot easier for those middle of the road kids
    ive looked into having RM on some computers and getting groups in a bit early with TA etc but lot of money and havent decided about this yet.
  10. Hi bluerose, the good thing about numbergym is that it goes up in small steps and has challenged several of my L5 Year 6 mathematicians at the higher levels. It's all against a timer which keeps a record of the child's best time score for that session. Ian Sugarman who has developed this brought out resources years ago for Shropshire......don't know if they are still available but there were some brilliant games and were free - poor man could have made a fortune but didn't copyright them! :0)
  11. babybloomer how do you use this is it in maths lesson?
    I like idea of something that kids do at home and leads to a reward system but something kids really want to achieve
  12. We use Number Gym in our Skills sessions in the morning which is a half hour session covering maths, guided and silent reading etc. Maths wizardry is basically number bond cards and tables cards that are laid on a mat with the answers on. The children do the latter against the clock (stopwatch) and yes we have sent packs home for kids to practice. They then gain a cerificate for achieving that level of 'wizardry'
  13. to valwsmith...i taught all the maths to KS2..but it wasnt just because of me! Im nuffin special...I just thought kids need more PRACTICE at the methods used in maths in order for them to learn well...so instead of the teacher doing the talking..they spent more time doing the work...The LEA inspector slated one of my lessons for this but OFSTED inspector said it was good...wierd isnt it how these so called "inspectors" think they know it all!!
    Its just an idea...try it and see if it works...it worked especially well with years 5/6 who are more independant.
  14. Bluerose...what i meant was chn tend to do 10 mins mental maths and 20 mins main activity...this is what my school did anyway...i changed it by doing the 10 mins mental maths AND they had to do minimum 30 mins independant work too..=40 mins...so i only actually taught for around 20 mins...this wasnt every lesson..but most...based on the principal that chn need more practice with methods etc.
  15. trinity0097

    trinity0097 New commenter

    My HUGE gripe with the old unit plans was that they gave the children virtually no opportunity to sit down and 'do' problems.

    Maths is one of those subjects that you need to do something over and over again for the process to stick - the more you do something the more the nureons (sp?) in your brain form permanent links thus moving the memory/process from short-term to long term memory.

    My pupils have a diet of fun interactive starter and plenary and a sit down and do calculations session for about 30min for most of their lessons. It's served them well, as they appreciate that they get better at something the more that they do it.
  16. Bluerose...hmm...u may be right...i love maths so..yeh..anyway whatever it was it worked!:)
  17. gambit understand now and agree must have that time to work which is why those who hold class too long struggle
    need someone like you on staff!!!

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