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General Chat Thread, Getting sick of maths homework in General; Originally Posted by PiqueABoo Completely does my head in. Highlight of this year so far: Six-year old **year 2** sprogette ...
  1. #16


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    Quote Originally Posted by PiqueABoo View Post
    Completely does my head in.

    Highlight of this year so far: Six-year old **year 2** sprogette being sent home with some maths homework that teacher asked us to do as a "family project". You can find that specific project all over the net and it's very definitely aimed at **year 6**. Lacking 3 - 4 years of the basics leading up to this level sprogette won't understand any of what we're going to have to do for her. Absolutely [bleeping] brilliant.

    School does this, but doesn't seem interested in fundamentals so I'm currently doing traditional times-tables with sprogette at home (star on the chart when she's recited one faultlessly a couple of times, there's a treat in store for completing the set etc.) and very easily getting her to play TuxMaths.
    I never learned my times tables, and still don't know them, but then I'm also reasonably good at mental arithmetic and so have never needed them.

    The main problem seems to be that people learn in so many different ways, and can understand subjects in different ways. There seems to be an obsession with teaching each and every possible method to make sure that you include all of the kids, rather than just trying to teach the basics and let people derive their own methods.

    In my opinion pretty much any rote learning seems to be a waste of time and stifle actual development of skills.

  2. #17

    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Ah yes everything was better when we were kids eh? The streets were made of candy, England won the World Cup every four years and Teachers really knew how to teach.

    Thing about the chunking method is that all it does is break down the method we were taught in smaller steps which helps the kids who can't get their heads around doing the sum in one go.
    I've had this discussion with my partner (a teacher) and really it comes down to how sensible/militant the school is about their calculation policy, in her class they begin doing it the prescribed way, some kids stick with it but some kids don't need all the steps broken down or have other methods. Some (sensible) schools allow the kids to do what they find most comfortable, unfortunately some don't.

  3. #18

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    What always bothered me was that the children were given several methods pretty much at once and this confused them. I would have thought that it would be a good idea to teach one method and only show other methods to children who found that one difficult.

    As for showing the working, there are two reasons for this: One is to avoid cheating, and the other is, that if the answer is wrong, the teacher/examiner can see if the child has got the method correct and just made a silly mistake.

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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    As for showing the working, there are two reasons for this: One is to avoid cheating, and the other is, that if the answer is wrong, the teacher/examiner can see if the child has got the method correct and just made a silly mistake.
    But surely my point still stands; who would you prefer designing your bridge, someone who can get the correct answer or someone who cant?

    I personally couldnt write each and every step down as my brain just doesnt work like that. 1 + 2 + 3 is 6. To me it isnt 1 + 2 = 3 _ 3 + 3 = 6 And i cant see why i should have been punished for being clever enough to miss that step

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    I never did above my 7x tables...and I still cant LOL. My mental arithmetic isn't bad and I can make pretty good guesses at most sums. For everything else there is a calculator! Although showing your working is a pain (I used to hate it), it's actually very useful for teachers, and ultimately kids. It shows exactly where the kid has gone wrong, and whether they just need to concentrate a bit more, or whether they need to be taught the whole process again.

    But surely my point still stands; who would you prefer designing your bridge, someone who can get the correct answer or someone who cant?
    I'd prefer the guy who wrote down all his working. In a process like bridge building the working would be checked over by several people to make sure it is correct - no one would trust a multi million pound project and the lives of many people on a number one guy (no matter how intelligent) has plucked out of his head. Ridiculous scenarios aside, it is good practice and well worth doing, everyone makes mistakes now and again and you (or someone else) can always spot them if you have shown your working.

  6. #21

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    My daughters school are teaching handwriting (in reception) before they can even write normally!!

  7. #22


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    Quote Originally Posted by jonwoods123 View Post
    I'd prefer the guy who wrote down all his working. In a process like bridge building the working would be checked over by several people to make sure it is correct - no one would trust a multi million pound project and the lives of many people on a number one guy (no matter how intelligent) has plucked out of his head. Ridiculous scenarios aside, it is good practice and well worth doing, everyone makes mistakes now and again and you (or someone else) can always spot them if you have shown your working.
    lol i knew that was coming. Of course im not on about doing the entire calculation in your head, just the smaller steps; simple addition, multiplecation etc. I get the point but at the same time you have to allow for people who know what they are doing. When you do "how tos" or disaster recovery plans you have to assume the person has some knowledge; you wouldnt write "Turn on computer" or "Press the windows flag at teh same time as pressing r, then type cmd", you would simply say "In a command prompt..."



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